Cider Press Hill

They graduate

Sunday, 1:03 pm

By Kate





It’s high school graduation day here in town. The lad had to be up at the school very, very, very early this morning to begin the set up for the ceremony this afternoon. All the sound equipment had to be taken outside, set up, and tested. Rearranged, and tested some more. Then a practice run later in the morning. And now, the seniors should be just about ready to file through the outdoor stadium to the delight of all and sundry.

I saw a number of the graduates walking toward the school when I last delivered the lad to the perimeter of the property (the police were making sure no one entered who wasn’t supposed to be there). Some of the graduates looked all grown up...they could pass for sophomores or juniors in college. The rest...well, they still look like kids. They still haven’t achieved their adult facial features yet. They look too young to be launched into the world. Many parents are probably looking forward to it with great excitement on the one hand, and a lot of heartache on the other. It’ll be my turn to find out how it feels, next year. I can wait.

Today is a hot and sticky summer day—in the upper 80s. Tradition says the graduates have to wear near formal attire under their caps and gowns. Suit jackets for boys, anyway. I hope they are allowed to bring water bottles with them. The sun is beating down mercilessly and the humidity is high. There will be no shade. Let’s hope for a short ceremony and no heat stroke today.

I’ll know when it’s over. The seniors in the neighborhood will be arriving to party into the night. It’s liable to be lively around the ‘hood tonight. It’s kind of a bittersweet moment. I’m proud of these kids I’ve known for so many years. They’ve made it and most have done it with a fair amount of style. But it’s still hard to see them prepare to leave. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with change.