So, the highlight at yesterday’s grad party was a bouncy house. Tonight we have Sterling Heights’s finest.

Another graduation party today and another 2010 high school grad. And honestly, the police were not called on us. Something was going on across the street. At least three police cars responded but it seemed the problem was solved peacefully, without any arrests. Tonight’s party was for our beautiful niece Chelsea, on the Courtois side of the family. She will attend the James Madison residential college at Michigan State University this fall. These two new grads (Charlotte and Chelsea) have crossed paths exactly once, at our own Lizard Breath’s high school graduation in 2002. They were 10 then. I think I can even remember them playing happily together at that wild, fun-filled affair. Er, we didn’t have one of those bouncy house thingies though, just kayaks filled with ice and beer, illegal faarrrworks and some kind of dangerous chemical demonstration by the GG that I have apparently blocked from my memory. What is up with having a bouncy house thingy at high school graduation parties? I mean, I thought it was very cool, I was just surprised!

Both of my daughters have made it successfully through both high school and college. I am not one to get all gloopy and sappy and teary-eyed when my kids graduate. Frankly, because my kids do not feel obligated to fill me in on every little detail of their lives, every single senior year has been scary for me. Did she fill out those college applications? ((Did she turn them in on time?)) What about the senior picture? (((((Prom?))))) Does she have a job? (((Is she looking for one?))) How is she going to pay off those college loans? To me, a graduation is more of a beginning than an ending or culmination. Is my fledgling really ready to fly? Did I do enough things right (and wrong) that she has the tools to learn to live and prosper on her own? Can she pick herself up when she falls or falters? And yes, this is about me too, just because of all the years I spent picking my way through learning how to be a mother. A process that’s still going on except that now I am dealing with adult daughters.

This morning, between the two high school graduation parties we attended over the weekend, we dropped Lizard Breath off at DTW to catch a plane for San Francisco, which has been her home since college graduation four years ago. She has been here with us for a little over a week, “here” being a rather flexible term — the Planet Ann Arbor, Fin Family Moominbeach, Dee-troit & suburbs, a quick stop at Houghton Lake, and this time, Mackinac Island for a wedding. Did I get enough time with her? Of course not! It’s okay. I share her with a slew of people. The GG and Mouse (of course). The Commander — her only living grandparent! Cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends galore. I am glad that she has so many wonderful friends and that she seeks out her relatives whenever possible. My little lizard is at a bit of a crossroads these days, thinking about what direction(s) to take with her career and life. It’s probably best that she make her own decisions here, especially career-wise. I am not a particularly good role model there. Career planning? Say what? I don’t know exactly what her next step will be but I think she is on the right track and I am pretty happy to be looped into her life on about the equivalent of Pluto’s orbit.

So, to my young cousin and my niece and all 2010 graduates, go forth and make the world a better place! Money is not the only measure of success. You don’t have to be a doctor or lawyer or Indian chief* (MBA?) to earn enough money to live a comfortable life. Creativity and the ability to read, write, and think critically will take you a long way in any career, including some that haven’t been invented yet. Showing up on time always gets points and don’t forget that old saying about using honey to catch flies. Instead of vinegar, don’t’cha know. HAVE FUN and avoid trouble. At least the kind of trouble that gets you mixed up with Sterling Heights’s finest, that is. Other kinds of trouble? Hmm… 😉

* Actually, I always wanted to be an Indian chief!

3 Responses to “So, the highlight at yesterday’s grad party was a bouncy house. Tonight we have Sterling Heights’s finest.”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Adult children at the crossroads, you know I’m right there with you!! They make decisions and it’s hard to stay out of it, but I try. I’m glad you got to see Older Daughter and relieved that no one got arrested in your ‘hood.

  2. Becky Courtois Says:

    There are some people that know what they want to be when they grow up and then there are some people that discover there are many paths, with many trails, and are not afraid to try new trails throughout the years. It’s ok – there really is no right or wrong way just enjoy the process. PS – I will find that damn shot cup!!

  3. kayak woman Says:

    What Becky said! (Except about the shot cup. Don’t worry about the shot cup!)