So... last Friday night, after three days of worrying that it would rain and we'd have to move everything into a gym and much plotting about tickets, screens, and just how much humanity could be packed into three gyms and a band hall... this happened...
(photo by Jo Jandrok)
The Impertinent Daughter graduated from high school.
I am so incredibly proud of her, for so many, many things. I am proud of what she's achieved academically and artistically, but... I am also proud of her for thinking for herself. For doing things her own way. For sticking to it when things got tough. For being willing to ask for help, and for being willing to go beyond what her teachers assigned.
I'm also proud of her class, for refusing to be intimidated by a woman who had been trying to squash them all into the same little boxes pretty much since they met her in sixth grade. I'm proud of them for turning their graduation into a joyous, boisterous, yet controlled celebration of both achievement.... and freedom.
When the beach balls appeared during that particular administrator's speech, I knew this wasn't going to be an ordinary graduation!
(gif by K. Griffin)
The beach balls were rapidly followed by streamers, silly string, and confetti cannons. A friend told me later that at previous graduations, when the beach balls appeared, they were rapidly captured by administrators and popped with a knife, which I find disheartening. This year, however, when the balls were caught by administrators.... THEY THREW THEM BACK TO THE KIDS, AND EVEN ENGAGED IN PLAYING WITH THEM!!
I found that awesome and wonderful. Like they were saying, "Okay, our job's done, you guys turned out just fine, let's just have fun!"
The best parts of the evening? When the Valedictorian gave her speech, which was basically, "don't make high school be the best years of your life, the best years are yet to come, " she ended it with reminding her classmates of their plan, counting off, and leading them in a shout of, "DOBBY IS FREEEEEE!!!"
Most of us parents had no problem understanding that the reference went beyond Harry Potter.
The beach balls, streamers, etc. continued throughout the ceremony, much to everyone's amusement, and I think for us parents, the challenge was to capture it all.
(gif by K. Griffin)
The only thing that really bothered me was finding out the hug to the 12th grade assistant principal was required. I'm sorry, but if the only way you can get people to hug you is to make it a requirement, then maybe you don't deserve to be hugged in the first place! And I was concerned when I saw the kids were draping something around her neck, and wondered what the heck was going on. When I found out what was actually going on later, though, I realized the kids got back at her in the only way they really could. They were draping their IDs lanyards around her neck.
I hope she realized it for the insult that it really was, though I doubt it.
It doesn't matter, really. What matters is that after twelve years of endless reams of paper, pens, pencils, crayons, textbooks, YouTube math and science tutorials, endless excuse notes, two bouts of mono, four concussions, sketchbooks, Prismacolor pencils, gouache watercolors, algebra and calculus books from Half-Price Books, freezing in the stands for three years watching her play soccer, holding her when the coach turned out to be a clueless jerk, conferences and meetings with principals to argue against stupidity in administration, happy-happy-joy-joy dances with her teachers when something went right, endless discussions about science, politics, Shakespeare, history, or whatever else she was studying, after lots of hugs, love, many, many batches of double chocolate chip cookies, and encouragement... the Impertinent Daughter has graduated from high school. My beautiful, wonderful, brilliant, talented, and just plain EPIC daughter graduated.
And I am so proud!
(gif by K. Griffin)
You go, Boo-Girl!