Thursday, May 22, 2008
A little over six years ago our “surprise child” was born.
One of my thoughts back then, which seems like yesterday, was “wow, I will have a senior in high school and a first-grader the same year.”
That time is now.
Friday night, we attended kindergarten graduation. That means Erin is officially a first-grader.
Monday night, we attended senior graduation. That also means Emma, our firstborn, is officially a 12th-grader.
Contrary to what you’re thinking, I’m not old. Having a 6-year-old, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old will help keep you young.
There’s no time for boredom. Life is constantly on the move.
While Erin is mastering the reading of books, Emma is getting mail practically every day from colleges all over the country. Personally, it’s my goal to keep her close to home. The University of Alabama would be just fine – not too far away for sure.
We laugh a lot at home about ACT scores. Mine wasn’t very good when I took it in high school. Emma beat me, ACT score-wise, when she took it as a seventh-grader.
OK, I admit it. The children got good traits from their mom, too.
We didn’t have kindergarten when I was little. I went directly to the first grade. I tell my children that I simply skipped kindergarten because I was so smart.
They don’t believe that one either.
I don’t remember much about the first grade at Hamilton, Ala., Elementary School. I do know I had a short haircut. My teacher was Mrs. Wiginton, and I missed a week of school due to pneumonia.
I loved to read. I loved to write. Best I recall, I loved school.
Maybe Erin gets that from me. She is crazy about school.
My bus ride was long as a youngster – over an hour – and the older kids picked on me.
I found out early on that I was probably the youngest kid in my class – first grade through 12th. My birthday falls on August 25.
I was one of those kids who played 12-year-old Little League but could have been playing 11-year-old ball. I always wanted to play with my classmates. And playing the better competition helped. It made me better.
Grade-wise, I held my own against the “older” kids.
I’ve had to dig out an old report card or two over the years to prove to my own children that their father was a pretty smart guy.
“Never made a B,” I tell them.
“Sure,” has been their reply.
I wasn’t valedictorian or salutatorian but fifth out of a class of about 110 isn’t too bad.
One of my favorite pictures in my box of memories is one of me and my mother on graduation night back in 1979 at Hamilton (Ala.) High School. Our school colors were maroon and white.
It’s truly hard to believe that was 29 years ago. I need to go home next year for the school reunion. I’m sure the Class of ’79 will be one of the groups honored.
I’ve got classmates I haven’t seen since we graduated.
This week, co-worker Barbara Taylor just told me, “It will be May 19, 2009, before you know it.”
Her daughter Jessica graduated from high school Monday night with high honors. She knows firsthand how fast that senior year flies by.
I recall thinking high school graduation would never come.
As a high school senior, I focused on things like grades, the school newspaper, basketball, baseball and girls, but most of all I had a good time.
I spent as much time as possible with friends. Seniors, you’re making special memories that will last a lifetime.
It will be May 2012 (Andy’s graduation) before we know it, too.
But even then I won’t be finished with the high school scene. If my math is right, I will be 58 years old when Erin receives her high school diploma.
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