It’s quite a surreal moment to see your child, in my case my first born, graduate high school. It also adds an interesting element to drop off your toddler at childcare on the way to the ceremony, but that’s beside the point.
Ironically, the following day when the new grads were asked to go to the Admin office to pick up the official copy of their diploma (they hand out empty covers at the ceremony) Teenager ran into his father doing the same thing. His father explained that he needed to get a copy of his diploma to prove he’d graduated so child support payments could cease. Of course, just because child support is no longer due when a child graduates high school, it doesn’t mean the kid no longer needs to be supported. Naturally, his father takes it entirely for granted that I will be the one to continue to do so, as I’ve done all these years. And because I know the obvious questions, let me just say the answer is “no” to both; “Will he be providing help towards colleges?” and “Did he at least give Teenager a graduation gift?”
One of many, many negatives from the prior shared custody arrangement years ago was this little gem; Teenager would be over at his father's house for the weekend and would hear comments about how hard it was for them to pay child support and how they couldn’t wait for it to end so they could get a new truck. I can’t help but think now about how his father and of course “Special Reader” must be celebrating heartily over their increased income and being “rid of that payment forever”. Naturally, their increased income means our decreased income, with of course no decrease in costs as we still have the same kid to care for not to mention now send to college. But I’ll tell you what, every day I get to look at my son and see him continue to do great things with his life and feel the joy that comes from seeing all he’s accomplished and what he's become and know that I had at least a small part in it.
And that is a reason to celebrate.
Me: OMG! Take it easy on the bumps, Honey! Little Guy looked like he was going to take off!
Hubby: Relax dear, he’s strapped in. He’s doing that on purpose!
Me: Oh. So he’s just being overly dramatic about it is what you’re saying.
Hubby: That’s exactly what I’m saying. He is your kid after all.
Me: Ha! Like you don’t have a flair for the dramatics yourself?
Hubby: Well, yes, but you’re the Queen.
Me: At least you admit I’m the Queen of something.
We have a little routine around here when we say goodbye to each other. My standard has always been to add “be careful!” followed by any number of other cautions according to the situation. One day I half jokingly told the Teenager (who walks a fair distance to school) to “watch out for bad guys”. Little guy being observant as he is, took this info and formed it into his own understanding, which became obvious in this morning’s exchange:
Teenager: Bye Mom, bye little guy.
Me: Bye Teenager, have a good day, be careful!
LG: Bye Buhbuh! Watch out for ghosts, and bazombies and coconuts!
LG: Yeah, if you see a coconut, shout “Coconut!” and then jump over it and you will be safe.
Sounds like a Scooby Doo episode combined with a Mario Bros Wii game! It’s a new video game in the making right there.