By: Revanche

Graduation Season

June 12, 2008

I’m normally pretty blase about the graduation thing. I’ve even been thinking that, if and when I finally go to graduate school, I’m not going to walk when I graduate. I’m not particularly comfortable with all that attention, pomp and circumstance. And really, who isn’t bored at graduation ceremonies? Still, I paid my good-cousin dues yesterday, literally and figuratively, attending my little cousin’s high school graduation.

Man, that kid’s impressive. He’s this gangly kid that I’ve watched grow up, tolerated Power Rangers for, hung out with every Thanksgiving and suddenly he’s graduating from high school as a valedictorian, National Merit Scholar and … *drumroll please* a Presidential Scholar!

Holy. Crap. Seriously, holy crap. He even gave the best speech of all the speeches. I’m not just biased, it was funny, irreverent, and so not full of himself and his memories like everyone else’s typical “I remember first walking onto this campus four years ago….” Oh, the references to “four years ago” were rampant. My favorite line of his? “In the end, I’m just that Asian kid with good grades, whose speech you won’t remember a word of tomorrow, but for tonight at least, I hope the teachers have a sense of closure and know that they’ve done their best with us.”

I’m so proud of him I could burst. But he’s always going to be my little cousin. And the look on his face when we got home, before he got ready to leave for Grad Night, was priceless: “Wow. No more high school.” Heh. Yep.

From my jaded post-college, workaday experiences, I almost replied, “Yeah, and that confidence, that top of the world feeling you’ve got? Enjoy it now, because it’s going to be a while before you’re that flush with pride and surety again.” I didn’t. For one thing, that’s mean. And for another, it’s probably not true.

I know he’s going to face some tough times eventually, but I get the feeling that it’s going to be a while yet. He’s whip-smart, he could make air bleed, he’s so sharp. He didn’t coast to the top, I know he worked hard, so he won’t be shocked by having to work in college like some of my smart friends were. Lordy, I remember my friends and I at that age. We were so very much not life-smart; I could only wish I were half as smart as he. We were so immature, and had so much to learn. And despite the astounding academic achievements, he’s the same way: he’s still so young and a little naive. He’s even following his big sister to college because he wants to be where she is. I’ll never say this to him, but how cute is that?? I hope that they never lose that relationship, because every really smart person always needs someone to look up to and keep them grounded.

Is this confidence really just my need to believe that for him, at least, life will continue like a dream?
Maybe it is, but I feel pretty maternal about my little cousins, and it’s my job to hope that nothing ever goes wrong for them.

P.S. For the first time ever, I was totally prepared for a graduation: sunglasses for the sun, dress for the heat, and my beloved trench for when it got cold three hours later. Perfect! I think my CPW on that trench has now dropped below $1/wear. Yesssss.

4 Responses to “Graduation Season”

  1. Sense says:

    He sounds like he’s ready to be let out into the real world. Tell him to remember you when he’s some successful something-or-other later in life. 😉

    I do hope everything goes smoothly for him, but the greatest lessons I’ve learned have been from trying times.

    Good luck to him, and congrats!

  2. ~sense~ He does, doesn’t he? Honestly, too too proud of him.

    He doesn’t have a choice but to remember me, I’m the favorite (best!) cousin. As I remind them regularly. 🙂

    You’re right, I know that adversity is good for the soul (and by that token, we have stellar souls), but his family has always been very financially modest and that’s been a shaping factor in his life.

  3. Holy cow 🙂 That is amazing…. and he is so prepared for life with a good head on his shoulders PLUS he works hard (huge plus)

    I’m linking it because I’m proud too now LOL

  4. ~FB~ 🙂 Man, I wish I weren’t having this *situation* right now, I’m going to miss out on a nice round of link love, probably, unless I figure out a solution FAST.

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