It seems too soon. Helaine and I seem too young. Steffie seems too young. Yet yesterday, Steffie graduated from high school.
People treat it like such an important moment – and I suppose it is. Still, I’m trying to put my finger on what it was that actually made high school so important to me or important to Steffie.
In the car, on the way to the graduation ceremony, my dad told Steffie she had probably not yet met her life’s best friend! That’s pretty insightful. It’s true in my case… Helaine’s too.
I was such a bad high school student that anything valuable I picked up academically was probably just an accident.
I do know this – over the past year it’s become obvious that Steffie is more of an intellectual than she’ll admit. There is more that she decides based on her head, not emotion. There are more subjects she can speak about – things that are not discussed on MTV or E!.
That makes me proud. She probably won’t understand that. Other parents will.
If the commercial is correct… if “people judge you by the words you use.” She will be judged favorably.
That makes me proud too.
Helaine drove Steffie to school and then came back home to pick up my parents and me. Though the ceremony was scheduled for 5:00, we got there early. That was a good thing because the gym filled and then overflowed outside.
It was hot. The gym isn’t air conditioned. The breeze that made it bearable when we walked in disappeared as more people entered.
I tried to think back to my graduation. I can’t remember anything. Faintly, I seem to think my senior class was divided into two separate ceremonies so our 3,000+ seat auditorium (at the time the second largest ‘house’ in New York City, right behind Radio City Music Hall) would work for the 1,100 graduates and guests.
Steffie’s graduating class was under 70. It’s a little different. Still the ceremony was ploddingly slow and long, taking over two hours. I suppose the one thing not taught in high school is brevity!
Now her world changes. From a small high school and the comfort of living home, Steffie will be going away to a college with thousands of students. I’m not sure how exciting this is to her, but I can tell you it’s exciting to me.
Somehow, I think she’s ready.