Nelson Clyde's Is It Just Me column: His graduation. My graduation.

Published on Saturday, 20 May 2017 13:30 - Written by NELSON CLYDE,

Well, it’s official. My youngest child Jamie has graduated from high school. There are so many implications here I may have to lie down to contemplate them fully.

This is not just about my impending empty nest. It means Mrs. Florey will never get a call from me again to say one of my children is late. Which correspondingly means, while they are being processed by her in the office, Mr. Taylor will not have to walk by and ask such questions as, “If you are this late, how did you possibly have time to stop at Starbucks on the way for coffee?”

There will be no more report cards to review since colleges view grades as the property of the student. Never mind who is responsible for the payments.

Getting four kids out of high school was a group effort to be sure. The thing you never count on when your kids are babies is how different they will be.

Need I make the distinction girls are surely more responsible than boys? Sometimes, to a fault, perhaps. We laugh a lot when we reflect on Cal’s procrastination on English papers. He was truly masterful. He would feign stress about deadlines in front of the girls until they would take over and write his papers. Classic co-dependency or a fine-tuned family working the way it’s supposed to?

His big sister would write them in such a way that assured he would get a low B so the work was believable. His baby sister would do the work in such a way as to make an A because she was unwilling to accept a lesser grade for her work, regardless of whose name was on the paper. Both qualities will serve the girls well in the future. Cal will be just fine as well.

Jamie’s Trump impersonation at the senior assembly before the election would make Alec Baldwin nervous. His line about Coach Maddox being more popular than the delete button on Hillary Clinton’s Blackberry was priceless. Laughter is the best medicine, especially together with your kids.

Their efforts made me think Hillary was right. It did take a village to raise children. But the reality was, it took a village for all four. How could you survive all the drama without grandparents and understanding teachers and front office staff, and the list goes on and on.

Now that “we” are out of high school, life turns to a set of new seasons. Kids move away and find their own lives. I get to visit them in wonderful places and see how they are at adulting. The joy they have brought is immeasurable, and yet I know that, for each of them the best of what life has to offer lies in the journey ahead.

I’m so grateful to anyone who ever gave my kids a ride or a lunch lady who slipped them a sandwich on a day they forgot their lunch. I’m also grateful to the people who taught my kids in the classroom and beyond. On behalf of my brood, I hope they represent your teaching well and give you reasons to be proud of them for the things you contributed to their experience.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.