The Ceremony

It was extremely warm in Greensboro on Friday, downright hot. We got there in plenty of time and my heart swelled with pride watching the Amazon put on her cap and gown there in the parking lot.

We went our separate ways as we approached the building, the nearly graduates being directed to another door. I followed the swarms of people being herded inside, only getting about ten feet from the Amazon before I started going all misty. I hate that I get that way so easily. No one else was walking around sniffling like a damn fool, it's so embarrassing.

I worked hard to choke it back, telling myself there was absolutely no reason for me to be feeling that way before I'd even gotten to my seat. I regained my composure and hiked what seemed like twenty miles through a labyrinth of doors and stairs before getting to the arena. Just outside the door there were tables set up, selling flowers. People were lined up buying bouquets of roses for their favorite students. It didn't occur to me to stop and get any cash before the ceremony and I suddenly felt like the worst mother in the entire world. So I started bawling again.

I sniffled and snorted and gave myself repeated internal pep talks as I sat there. I called Ma, just to check on things here and make sure she hadn't decided to return any of the critters to the wild or burned the house down. I really just wanted to focus on something else for a second. Thankfully everything was still in tact.

I had never attended a university commencement before, it was all quite formal and grand with elderly men in poofy hats, long robes and rambling speeches. The guest speaker was an older woman, whom I feared would be long winded and boring. I was greatly mistaken. There were no tears oozing out of my eyes as she spoke, she had me and everyone around me laughing so hard we were gasping for breath on more than one occasion. Her stories were awesome, I want to be just like her when I grow up.

I could see the Amazon from where I sat. She looked so grown up. I think every milestone we've tackled in the past twenty one and a half years tiptoed through my mind as I sat there, that's where the waterworks kept coming from. As I watched her down there, scanning the crowd looking for me, I remembered when she was in the first grade and in a production of the Nutcracker. I was there in the audience, proud as could be, but when it was over and I went to find her, she was crying. She hadn't been able to find me in the crowd when she was on stage and thought I hadn't come. I was determined she would know I was there this time. She finally spotted me, waving my program from the stands.

After the Amazon officially became a graduate of the University of North Carolina and after fighting the traffic, we made a beeline to the nearest drug store for some sinus medicine. I got a HUGE box of pseudoephedrine, enough to last me a while (thank goodness!)

The plan was to meet her friend at Olive Garden for lunch, but apparently that was the same plan of everyone in Greensboro. We couldn't even get in the parking lot, so we went to Red Lobster instead. I'd never been there before, so it was a treat. It felt good to be out in civilization again.

Anyways, all went well and we made it back. I'm pretty sure I could close this post with a lot of emotionally draining, tear jerking words of extreme pride, but I think my tear ducts have had enough of a work out for a day or two.

Happy Mother's Day ya'll.