Monday, May 21, 2007

Commence with the Commencement

This weekend was one that I've been dreading for several years now--Kirstiegirl's graduation. She is the first graduate in our family since I graduated (I have actually graduated twice, high school and college) so this was a big deal. She has been the only grandgirl in our family her whole life, but happily shares the space with Teensy now. Her talent lies in singing, she has a very beautiful voice and has done very well in competitions and the special groups that the High School has which also goes alongside with chorus. She loves to sing and has loved to sing since she was a tiny girl, she would sing out so loud in church that I would often times find myself just listening to her and not singing.

Kirstiegirl and I are close, she calls me Unkie, and have always had a strong connection. Knowing that this was her senior year has been bothering me since I knew that last year was her junior year. I really have a hard time with irreversible change: Walter Cronkite signing off, Laverne and Shirley going off the air, Ronald Reagan not being president, M&M's not having Red (thank God, every once in a while we get a reprieve), Katie Couric not being on my favorite morning show, Melinda Doolittle not singing on American Idol, and Kirstiegirl not being in school-Oh the horror. It's just more than I can handle. I know there is nothing I can do, which makes it even worse, and it just tears me up.

We wanted to get a head start on the weekend and leave following Chubbers and Bub's pre-school performance (they were too cute, just too cute) which meant we technically left town when we left the house. It was my first time to load the Quest with all of our stuff, it's amazing there was anything left in the house we packed so much. We were on our way and hadn't been a mile when Titus' eyes blew out of his head and he yelled, "Mom, Emma is spitting up!" Teensy was not just spitting up she was competing for the new Linda Blair roll, "I polter-puked in Mom and Dad's new van." For a 13 pound five-month old she was able to expel more vomit than I can even begin to describe. I don't think Titus will ever be the same having witnessed this catastrophic explosion of vomit. It hit the back of the seat (she is still rear facing in case that wasn't already obvious) as it arched from her mouth. We pulled over and jumped out of the van to tend to Teensy. She was very upset, as were we. We haven't pinned down the actual cause although there are several theories floating around. This wouldn't be the last of the excretions from Teensy...more on that later.

When we arrived at Nonnie's house, the boys just explode with excitement--they love going to Nonnie's. There are not rules at Nonnie's other than to have fun. She does occasionally redirect if they are headed toward something that is breakable, but nothing is more important to her than her babies having a great time. We always struggle with getting them to stay on their nap schedules and bed time schedules, but do the best we can. When we arrive at Nonnies we also begin the chaos. It is very chaotic and hurried, always on the go and always trying to figure out what we are going to do right before we do it. We get keyed up let me tell you.

The typical schedule at Nonnie's goes like this:
Get up around 8-9, lounge and snack on whatever breakfast junk food we've bought..10ish start calling Lucy to see what the brood is going to do--decide then rush around to get to the lunch spot before the crowd...head to the mall around 2 and spin our wheels in there until around somewhere...get home around 7 and lounge around until we all go to bed. That's the routine. It may not sound exhausting, but getting everyone in the right place and at the same time is miraculous. Talk about herding turtles in a pile of peanut butter?...well think of it as a turtle convention on peanut butter hill.

Sunday came which meant going to Lucy's church, for Kirstiegirl. I'm not so crazy about this place, for several reasons all of which I'll save for a much more depressing post than this one. Coming from my current church to this one was like going from a blast furnace to a blast chiller--totally different: one is on fire and one isn't (get it?) After church we had to decide on lunch and then scramble to beat the lines that form at all of the good restaurants. We chose Chedder's, one of my favorite places, and sent Kirstiegirl on her way to get us a table ( for 10 which equates into hour long waits on Sunday).

At Cheddars we all ordered, I got the new Spasagna upon Mom's recommendation breaking from my tradition of always getting the same thing no matter what. As we were waiting for lunch to come, "Uh...Will...I think Emma just...oh my gosh she just crapped all over me!" Kendra was holding Emma and Emma had a major blowout! It was on Kendra's arm, her dress, her shirt, everywhere. I think Emma had poo loaded in a compressed air sprayer and painted her Mommy with it. Lucy and Kendra headed to the bath room to begin the clean up duty and I headed for the house to get Kendra a change of clothes, bless her heart. Chedder's has an amazing hand dryer that I think uses a 10 horse power engine, I'm convinced it could launch a shuttle into orbit. It did a good job of cleaning up Kendra to the point that I could turn around and head back to eat lunch.
My spasagna was not so great. The basic idea is to take spaghetti, add cheese and Alfredo sauce to it and smoosh it into a huge pan, bake it, slice it into large squares and cover it with meat sauce:whifenpoof you have the marriage of two Italian staples: lasagna and spaghetti. I think my biggest hang up with this was all textural, it just felt weird to me. I also hit a stone cold spot and that turned me off too. Mom loves it, and I can see how many people would, but I am just going to pass and stick to the chicken fingers or hamburger from now on. I thought that if you took the mass and sliced it to make layers and put a slice of mass, sauce an cheese, it might be better but I just dont' know. I do love the chicken fingers, and the burgers are great, what I love are the cookie monsters, and always hope I have the time and tummy space to indulge myself with one of those babies. Those things are sin...pure sin.

We rushed home to change so we could get to graduation on time. Kirstiegirl had a little over 350 graduate with her, and they make it a huge production. Every student receives only a certain number of tickets ( I think it was like five or six) which meant those who needed more had to beg borrow or steal to get them. With three sets of grandparents, Teensy and the boys, Kendra and I, Kirstiegirl's boyfriend she should dump (ooops), Lucy, Doug, and Drewber; every person had to have a seat even babies. Lucy was able to get enough tickets and we were all set. I dropped everyone off at the door and then drove a mile away to park and walk a mile back to the gymnasium (I watched the trip meter on my van because I knew I would blog about this I didn't take picture because I forgot the camera). On the walk to the gym (I never thought I would be typing those words in reference to me) I noticed something shockingly appalling--people were not dressed up for this. I saw people in cut off shorts, flip flops, untucked shirts, dirty jeans, halter tops, sweat pants. I was just shocked. I remember all of the graduations I have ever attended wearing Sunday best, I even had to take an extra bath just to make sure I was presentable. These folks jumped off the couch slid into their mowing shoes and headed to graduation, with plans to fall back on the couch when they came home from graduation. I saw men dressed in full, "mid-life crisis Harley-Davidson chic" and a very few people dressed for the event. I consider graduation a formal event and like to think that you would wear good clothes to them. For heaven's sake just dust off the funeral suit and wear it for three hours, it won't kill you and if it does you are already dressed for burial.

The graduates also had not adhered to the dress code as I saw many wearing blue jeans and tennis shoes with t-shirts. At my graduation, had anyone worn blue jeans and a t-shirt under the gown Ms. Stover would have had a complete come un done all over you. It was a very, very strictly enforced dress code you didn't cross. The girls had to wear dark shoes, boys dark dress pants and dark shoes--major emphasis on the tow the line rule. You just didn't do that--period!

When I finally made my way into the gym and found my family I saw Bub crying. We hadn't been there ten minutes (well I hadn't) and he was already in trouble. What would the next three hours mean for me...torture for sure. I tried my best to snap him back into a good mood and succeeded. We finally started all of the commencement exercises and it was typical graduation typicalness. Roads, journeys, expectations, dreams, following, blah, blah, blah, it's the same stuff that every graduation in every corner of this country talks about. "The road upon which we are embarking..." The good thing is that every speaker was only about two minutes long which went by really quick. Kirstiegirl performed with the choir and then the Senior ensemble performed (it was really good.) Oh yes, right before the choir sang, "Will...oh no...she crapped on me again." Teensy had covered her Mommy for a second time. Of they went to the bath room to get cleaned up.

I left halfway through to get the van and be ready to head back over to Lucy's for kirstiegirl's family cake party. Bub and I walked together and that was a hoot. He helped me notice all of the pineapples that had fallen from the trees (they are actually pine cones, but he calls them pineapples) busted balloons, tire weights, a dead bird, gravel, this huge road paver, all things that I passed by in my haste to get to the gym. I love that boy and his ability to help me see life's details and take the time to enjoy them. We picked up the crew and jetted over to Dillon's (local grocery store that's pretty cool) to pick up a cake and ice cream. Had Kendra and I been in charge the cake would have been made, snacks, cute decorations, and even a delicious punch with fancy cups and plates. We didn't decide to get together until Saturday night at about 9PM. Peanut Butter Hill, I'm telling ya.

Back at the ranch we all took pictures and smiled and hugged, ate cake and ice cream and talked and laughed. There were thirteen of us: Lucy, her husband (Doug), Drewber, Kirstiegirl, Mom, Dad, Dad's wife (Graham), Teensy and the boys, Kendra, Wayne and Vera (Doug's parents) and me quite a crew. Fortunately we all get a long well and enjoy each others company. We used to have a bigger family but deaths and folks just moving away make it really hard to get together we are happily together and make the most of it.

All of Chubber's favorite people were in one place and he was not able to contain his excitement and was just running around from person to person like a crazy man. Talk about being full of life--that boy is full of life. As he was running I saw him suddenly stop spread his legs apart and shake one leg as his diaper dropped out of this pant leg. He had run out of his diaper--we all laughed so hard. Chubbers was embarrassed but recovered quite quickly. I've seen a lot of things, but never that before. Bub was doing all he could to get attention, it makes me sad that he's not the center of attention anymore, and sees that Chubbers and Teensy just have to be to get attention. He still gets his attention and plenty of it.

We wrapped up our evening with a scramble to decide whether we cook or get take out. Take out won and we were yet again off on the race up peanut butter hill to get Sonic Diet Coke and Pizza Hut Pizza. It's a scramble I've loved my whole life, the go, go, go lifestyle of the Spoon's


Tracy said...

i'm with you on the graduation being a dressup event. for heavenssake what is wrong with people! even if its as hot as blazes (and graduations often are) you gotta dress up! show a little respect, right? and the graduates themselves should be dressed. this aint college (you cant do much by then now can you - if it hasn't been taught by then its too late lol) - when my nephew graduated middle school i couldnt attend but my brother went and told me all about it - he and my sister were horrified - these little girls wearing what he called something akin to a sexkit LOL.. he said they were barely dressed and he couldnt believe their fathers allowed them out of the house much less to their own graduation ceremony!
and pooor kendra - with all the teensy explosions (i'm sorry but i laughed - a commiseratory like laugh i assure you) - all part of the parental indoctrination. in case you're gettin too comfortable those kids put you right back in your place dont they?
thanks so much for the enjoyable posts and congrats to kirstiegirl. whats she planning on doing now?

Donna said...

Can't believe Kirstie has graduated. I'm just shaking my head. Love that girl.
No red M&M's....has it always been that way?? Do they have red ones now?? I guess I should know this.
Peanut butter hill is THE perfect description. PERFECT.