High School Graduation

 
2013 Graduating class of Norman High School at Lloyd Noble Coliseum, Oklahoma University
2013 Graduating class of Norman High School at Lloyd Noble Coliseum, Oklahoma University
 
Brooke with her dad and stepmom at our after graduation celebration at Charleston's.  (Emy, we definitely needed your camera....with you behind it!)
Brooke with her dad and stepmom at our after graduation celebration at Charleston’s. (Emy, we definitely needed your camera….with you behind it!)
Last weekend I went to my cousin Brooke’s graduation from high school and honestly, nothing has changed much in the last 34 years. 
Well, maybe a few things.
For instance, this time I was the one taking pictures.
And now we all have smart phones to combat the boredom.
But the band still played and the choir still sang.
I think I actually prefer Phillip Phillips’ “Home” to “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
This time it was an ordeal getting all of us parked and out of the car and inside to our seats.  My parents and grandmother came to see me walk across the stage.  At 17 I never realized how difficult it must have been for her to walk all that way from the parking lot, inside the coliseum, and climb stairs to find a place to sit. 
At my graduation I sat on the stage with the other student council officers, only there weren’t enough chairs placed for us.  When all 500 and something of us had filed in and we were seated, the senior counselor sat down in what was supposed to be my chair. So I just stood there while everybody laughed, until the orchestra director walked over and handed me an extra chair.
I never did care much for that counselor.
I thought my friends’ speeches as salutatorian and valedictorian were brilliant.  And I could hear and understand every word they said, even in that huge coliseum whose acoustics were meant for basketball, not speeches. 
This time I couldn’t understand half of what anyone said.
And I couldn’t read the program without holding it out as long as my arm could extend.
After my graduation we stayed up all night for our prom at the mall.  (Yes, I said the mall.)  Thirty-four years later and I was ready for the celebratory dinner to be over by 11 p.m. so I could go home and go to bed. 
This time I was the one watching with anticipation as it came closer to time for Brooke to walk across the stage.
Kinda like the moment her daddy called to tell me she was here.

 

It's been a joy watching you grow up, Brooke.  I like who you are!
It’s been a joy watching you grow up, Brooke. I like who you are!

 

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