Disclosure: This post is a leeeetle long. I don't like long posts here or elsewhere, so I apologize, but this all happened in one weekend, and I want to get it out now while it's fresh. If you can tough it out 'til the end, then you are special, and you deserve a prize like a brand new car or a free KFC meal courtesy of Oprah. If you are new here from the book signing, welcome. I'm not usually this wordy. Not usually. But sometimes.
Weekend Part 1: Graduation
I am of a certain age when a weekend like this can only be repeated about once every four years because it is exhausting. So that's 2005 on the left, 2009 on the right, in case you couldn't tell. That's Katie at 18 and Katie at 22, and that's me at 42 and me at ... 42 1/2.
I am now the mom of a college graduate.
Yes, she made it. When we left her on campus in the fall of '05, she wasn't sure if she could cut it, but she grabbed college life by the tail and never let go.
Way to go, Katie! You did well!
I've written a piece about this which I'm going to use for my contribution to Internet Cafe this month, and then probably a re-write for my newspaper column, so I'll hold off on sentimentality--for now. But it's bubbling up and cannot be held back for long. But I do want to say here and now that I'll never forget how beautiful her green eyes were as she stood there in her cap and gown just afterward.
After graduation, we were guests at a cookout at Katie's house on campus. She and her roommates invited friends and their families. In the slideshow below, you will see two girls who, unlike my kids, actually want to make this blog: Bethany, whom Katie has known virtually all her life from church, and Kelly, whom Katie met her freshman year.
Moms of teenagers: Can I get an "amen" to how important your child's friends are? These two have been stellar friends, HUGE blessings to Katie and us, and guess what? They both love ME, too! And they read this blog! Hi, Bethany and Kelly! Kelly and my son Jordan are lifeguards together at the school, and they are good friends, as well. I cannot tell you how many times Kelly has loaned Jordan her car. (Don't ask me why. He can be a stinker at times. Like 22 hours a day.)
After the cookout, we took Jordan back to his dorm so that he could bring out his packed up stuff that will come home to live with us for the summer while he himself shares a house with four other guys on campus this summer. What is wrong with that picture? I hope his parka and gloves will have a great summer of family bonding with us in his newly re-decorated bedroom. I just hope his comforter enjoys the sage green on the walls. Perhaps we'll take his wool sweater on vacation with us to the beach.
Anyway, we sat in the car in the street watching him and his roommate through the open 2nd story window of their room. Finally, he flipped out the lights, and I turned to Jorge and said, "Well, that's it. 'Lights out!' on the sophomore year. Our son is now a junior, and our daughter graduated a couple of hours ago. Can you believe it?"
No, we cannot believe it. Because:
This was actually taken, oh, like last week. The moral of this portion of this post is: Go hug your little children one more time today. And put some money in the bank for college.
Weekend Part 2: Mother's Day and small family celebration at our house.
EXHAUSTING for me, the hospitality-challenged person, but it went OK. I had some food catered and I made some, which did not sicken anyone or even come close to cutting their tongues out. So, "score."
Here is a picture of my beautiful mom taken this week at a local middle school where she and my dad spoke to the kids in some kind of "Get to Know History Through Old People" exercise, which both my parents and the kids apparently thoroughly enjoyed.
I would like to say, "Gee, I hope I look this good at 84," but actually, I'd like to look that good now. She's amazing. Moral of her beauty story: Stay out of the sun. She doesn't like this picture because her neck has "wrinkles." Good grief.
By the way, in the slideshow, you will see my dad, who is about 6'2", my mom who is about 5'10", Katie, sister-in-law Kim, and my brother Donnie. Look how big he is. He's like Brad Garrett on Raymond. Keep in mind when you see that pic that my dad is 6'2"!
Weekend Part 3: The Book Signing
Sunday morning, I was a nervous wreck, nearly sick to my stomach thinking, "Why in the world did I do this? I am an idiot. People are going to think I have the biggest ego in the world. People are going to laugh at me."
When I arrived the bookstore managers made me feel very comfortable and not stupid, for which I am grateful. And then a couple of people came in and bought books, which then alleviated the fear that I would indeed being do "a" book signing, as in singular, or ONE book.
People are nice.
Some bought two or three at a time as Mother's Day gifts, and at that point, you could have knocked me over with a bookmark. So I signed away, and I think we sold about half of what she ordered, or maybe a little less. I don't know the count yet.
Then I rushed home for that family get-together.
So here is a slide show of all the things I mentioned above because a picture is worth the 2,000 words I probably just used to bore you to death about it.
If you hung in here this long, thanks. You are a bloggin' bff, "Big-Hearted Faithful Friend."