Saturday, June 15, 2013

Graduation Day

My daughter Jessi graduated from high school today.  The entire family was present for the ceremony.  It was a large graduating class.  The keynote speaker was mediocre, but to be fair it was one of the high school faculty and not a professional speaker.  My wife is organizing a party for Jessi and her friend Lauren in a park next Thursday.  She’s off to the Naval Academy in less than two weeks, but for now she's enjoying her time with friends and a summer job as life guard and swim instructor.  These eighteen years have flown by.  I hate to use that old cliché, but it's true.  She's leaving the nest.  While she can take care of herself physically, I hope she's emotionally equipped for the challenges ahead, particularly in her near future.  I remember a little rugrat with big pretty brown eyes crying as I'd leave in the morning to work on my dissertation at the municipal archive in Augsburg, Germany.  From the get-go, she was a handful: a bit dramatic and somewhat high maintenance.  But her personality reminds me of someone else I know, namely a little boy with the initials D.V.

After the ceremony and photo op outside the Kohl Center, we ate at a place called La Brioche, a restaurant that prides itself on "true food" and feng shui (which I find both ridiculous and arrogant).  Jessi, Erika, and I ordered the same exact thing.  Weird.  Jessi wanted to eat at a quaint place far from the madding crowd.  She surprises me sometimes.  Later in the evening I found her at home taking a break from all the graduation parties, chillin' like a villain with her iPhone.  This behavior was yet another sign that, for good or ill, she's inherited my melancholy temperament.  Overall, it was a good day.  The weather was great and it's rare to have the whole family together these days.  We experienced a bit of déjà vu today, as Erika graduated a few years ago from the same place, the Kohl Center.  Likewise, I had my PhD graduation ceremony there some thirteen years ago.  Monika, my youngest, is on deck for next year.