T has graduated from high school. We went to the ceremony even though his original response was to avoid it at all costs. He didn't like the idea of making a big deal of it, after all, it's only high school he said. I'm glad he decided to at least go to the ceremony so I could see him walk across the stage in his graduation robe and cap.
I remember his first day of kindergarten with startling clarity. It was drizzling and grey out and we walked the three blocks to school together. My mom looked after J so I could have the time with T to myself. After dropping him off at his lineup and watching him get into his classroom I was shooed away with the other parents. It just causes too much disruption to hang around - which I agreed with until I was ushered out the door. I went home then feeling just a bit useless. I still had J to take care of and the dayhome kids but I felt like I wasn't really needed by T as much. I found it very difficult to accept the idea that another person will have more of an influence than me for a while. My boys hadn't been in day care or even babysat much so I was always able to remain the primary example for them. Now I could see that T would have hours alone in an environment I wasn't witnessing. It was difficult to come to terms with and by the time J went I felt better about things.
And now, a blink of an eye later, here was T dressed in a graduation robe and cap preparing to get in line to receive his congratulations on a job well done. He was only on stage for less than a minute but was brought up a few times in the ceremony. He was mentioned as the Gold Medalist in the Skills Alberta competition and a time or two elsewhere but my mind couldn't hold onto the information. I kept seeing my little boy march with his kindergarten line into class instead of the stage right in front of me.
When it was all done we met up with T in the lobby of the conference center. I glanced away to talk to someone, looked back, and saw not my little baby boy, my boy, my teen...but saw a man.