Last night was no different -- perhaps it was even more poignant as it accompanied the rugrat's trip across a stage to receive her high school diploma.
The ceremony was quite good, and the speeches were excellent. Even the rugrat paid attention and commented afterward on how they made her cry. The guest speaker was Libby Copeland, a journalist with the Washington Post, and a former graduate of the high school.
Well, this is it folks. Things are changing, and changing quickly. The rugrat has been considering potential roommates from among her co-workers (she's at the California Pizza Kitchen now), and there are a few who fit the bill. Her bill, that is. Which means they must be easy to get along with, drama free (or as much as teen girls can be), and dependable work and income-wise.
Rugrat has realized that living alone won't be affordable. But if she can share a 2-bedroom with someone, she shares rent, damage deposit, con ed, cable/internet, etc. Plus she can have that kitty she's wanted since I had to find homes for ours (allergies, asthma). She and her kitty can grow up together.
Now that graduation is over, she'll be putting aside $150 out of each paycheck, and I can anticipate that as soon as winter is over and it's warm enough to consider moving, she will be. I have no doubts that she can handle herself, that she'll be responsible. Despite a bit of spoiling, she is a damned good kid.
Yes, it's what we aimed for -- I believe that kids need to be on their own and learning how to live responsibly. And yet, it will mean an empty home for me, for the first time since I was 19 and had rugrat 1. I had always envisioned this transition as my time to finally have fun, to not be responsible for others. And yet I see now that it will be a challenge for me.
I have spent the last 29 years focused more on single parenting than any other aspect of my life. I will now have to change that focus, and fairly abruptly. I'll have to work hard to incorporate other things into my life to keep that new emptiness at bay.
Rites of passage...for the rugrat moving to adulthood, and for me moving to an 'empty nest.' It will be challenging. I hope we're both up to it.
I won't post a pic of the rugrat here, but I will post this one of the hat tossing upon conferral of the degree. The rugrat is in this group of
This brought tears to the eyes as well.
This song has also become associated with graduations, at least among high schoolers.