Friday, June 22, 2007

Alexa's Graduation!!!

Yesterday Marshall took the day off work so we could attend Alexa’s High School Graduation. Alexa is Seamus’ birthmom. This was such a big day! We would not miss it for the world.
Alexa’s mom forwarded us a list of instructions that was sent out to all the families of the graduating students. I took particular notice of #4. It stated that it was strongly recommended to not bring children under the age of 8 to the ceremony. Hmmm.... I’m bringing THREE children under the age of 8. It also stated the long list of things that were not allowed (noise makers, air horns, beach balls, having fun, etc.). I considered bringing a box of noise makers and passing them out to the crowd, but I didn’t have time to get them.

We battled just under two and 1/2 hours of traffic to make the journey from LA to “the OC” in what should have taken 1 and 1/2 hours. That’s just life in Southern California. You never know EXACTLY when you will arrive. You don’t know when you will encounter an accident, stalled car in the center lane, “CarBQ” (car on fire... happens a LOT out here), or my favorite... bad traffic for absolutely no reason at all. No, actually the CarBQ is my favorite. In this particular trip, at different points in our drive, we encountered three different stalled vehicles. Two were in the middle lane and one was in the carpool lane. We couldn’t seem to get a break. We got to Alexa’s house just in time for a quick bathroom break for the three of us who are not in diapers, before heading to the high school for a parking spot. We managed to find one of the last spots in the parking lot, thankfully. With over 650 graduates and the 5000 capacity stadium sold out, there were a lot of people needing parking spots.

We sat with Alexa’s parents, sister (and sister’s boyfriend), aunts, uncle and cousin on the very top row of the bleachers. There was a back stairs exit from our row that we thought might be useful if we needed to walk around with either Marlie or Seamus to help keep them quiet during the ceremony. I never thought much about it before, but there is not much space between rows in the bleachers. If you have a child on your lap (Marlie), it is VERY difficult to keep said child from kicking the large man sitting in front of you. Either he was oblivious to the numerous kicks, or he was really nice, because he didn’t turn around and glare at me even once. I did my best to hold down Marlie’s legs, but she wasn’t really enjoying that, so I made use of the back stairs exit just as the ceremony was starting. I listened to the ceremony from behind the bleachers, where I paced back and forth, holding Marlie to keep her happy and most importantly, quiet. As the faculty made their speeches, I thought to myself: Does anyone really come to a graduation to hear what the faculty has to say about an inspirational story from their childhood? Come-on! Let’s get to the good stuff! Start handing out the diplomas! But no... several faculty members had speeches, and then came all the acknowledgements: The french club honors students (and the full description of all the requirements they needed to attain that status), the students who participated in any kind of sports, the students who took more than two liberal arts classes, the drama department, the perfect attendance students, the students who overcame adversity, the students with red hair, etc. Hey.... can’t you just put these acknowlegements in the yearbook or the program handout? Apparently not.

Finally they got to handing out the diplomas. We figured that with a last name ending in “H”, that we wouldn’t have to wait too long to hear Alexa’s name, and then we could go and pick up some dinner for the kids, meeting everyone back at Alexa’s house after the ceremony. Well... the genius graduation organizers decided to split the alphabet in half, alternating between starting at the A’s and the L’s, which meant that last names starting with “H” came up at the very end of the ceremony. Nonetheless, it was all very worth it just to see Alexa graduate. I walked back up the stairs to the top of the bleachers in time so that I could see her accepting her diploma with my own eyes. I am so very proud of her.

We then left after her name was called to pick up some Wendy’s before heading back to Alexa’s house. Seamus was much more interested in the chips and dip than his chicken nuggets. Oh well. We had a fantastic time hanging out with Alexa and her family. We left around 9:40 and got home right around 11pm. It was a long day for the kids, but they held up surprisingly well.
We are so proud of Alexa and are so glad we could support her in this very important accomplishment! We love her very much.

Note to self: When your hubby suggests you wear your fancy brand new, never before worn shoes to an event where you will be doing a LOT of walking.... tell him “no” and wear your Birkenstocks (your original choice) instead. OUCH!