Getting Close

We are about two hours away from the start of the graduation ceremony. Can you feel the excitement building? I can!

Harry is already there, of course. Bellana is on her way. We only have two parking passes between the two houses and I think the plan is to pile about 30 people into the two cars. It’s going to be a drive in movie in the 50’s where they hide people in the trunk.

We’re making a quick dinner right now. We’ll maybe have something more substantial when we get home. For now though let it be stated that I just used an Air Fryer for the first time. Look at me, all hipster like.

One hour and forty minutes to go!

WOOHOO!!

The One Where He Graduated

Harry graduates from high school tonight. Expect tons of pictures from the ceremony. Also, expect tons of pictures from all over time and space because he’s one of my favorite people on Earth and he’s graduating and I am so happy for him that I am positive I will spontaneously combust before the day is over.

Cap and Gown

Harry just came home from graduation practice. I made him try on his cap for me. I told him how proud I am of him and embarrassed the shit out of him. So that’s one thing that has gone right today. He’s decorating his cap now.

I need to get my good camera out of the closet in the office. I think I have used it twice during the pandemic. Tomorrow it has a lot of work to do. I’m going to need the long lens, but it’s going to be so worth it. I don’t even care if the pictures come out or not, I just want him to have those 2.5 seconds on the stage in front of everyone.

He has worked so hard for so long. I am crazy proud!

Heat Wave

We have had two consecutive days with temperatures topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The forecast calls for the same for two more days. My step son’s last days of high school are going to fall right into the heat wave. In fact, because of the predicted heat his school has actually announced an early release tomorrow and possibly Tuesday too. So his last days… the days after your finals are over that you still have to go in… the most useless days of your high school career… will be short days.

I ask this of all who have ever graduated from an American high school… how jealous are you? I seem to remember having to go in for one day after my senior finals were over, and I also seem to remember it being the longest day ever. My memory tells me that happened, but it seems like such a silly and useless thing that I wonder if it actually happened? Was my last day actually the day of my last final exam? Now I am confused. Old and confused. What else is new?

Whatever, Harry’s done with finals. All he has to do is go back and sign out of his classes. You know, turn in his books, pick up his cap and gown and the parking passes for his parental units… good stuff like that.

I am so proud of him. I can’t put it into words. I’m too proud to explain. I hope he has the time of his life this week. His last days, then all the senior week stuff, then the actual graduation, then they have one final post-ceremony senior week activity, and then he’s done with high school. Then he is a college kid. No, a college man.

I will say it again, I am so proud of him.

Concert Recap

Yesterday we went to Harry’s final band concert. There were four ensembles and he played with all of them. It was 90 degrees out and the concert took place in the school parking lot. The band director sent out an email with the details last week and somehow Jen and I both failed to read the part about bringing your own chairs. We were there a little early and Jen raced home in record time to get us a couple of chairs. She missed the first couple of Jazz Band songs, but she did not miss Harry’s keyboard solo. There were two keyboard players. On this particular song the other guy used a synthy sound that made things sound like the 70’s. It was a little rough, but he’s an excellent player and he made up for the less than quality patch choice. Harry’s solo was with an electric piano sound and it made me want to run out and buy a vintage Fender Rhodes piano because awesome. Now I understand that a Rhodes is also a very 70’s centric sound, but some 70’s sounds are better than others. Dig?

For the other three ensembles, Harry was in the percussion section. He played almost everything. Mallets, hand percussion, cymbals, and on a couple of pieces he played tympani. He played the shit out of those kettle drums. Let’s just say his step father was very impressed, and insanely proud.

The show closed with the concert band. They had a couple of different teachers/student teachers conducting different pieces. On the second to last song, the band director was inside the building while someone else was conducting. Those of us who were still outside saw the sky getting very ominous. Dark, angry looking clouds. It seemed like we were going to get rained on and it was going to be bad. The band director came outside, looked up, and even though were were on the other side of the parking lot we could see him visibly freak a little. We could almost hear the “oh shit” he was thinking. The song ended and he grabbed the mic and said there was one more piece and it’s about five minutes long and we can probably squeeze it in before the sky falls. The DarkSky app had just told me the rain was about eight minutes out. Go for it, dude! They finished the number before the rain hit and had just enough time for the kids to get their stuff back inside and for the audience to scatter. It was almost as if they planned it that way.

I loved every second of the whole thing, and Harry was totally beat when he got home. Not only did he play in all four ensembles, but prior to the high school concert there was a middle school concert and he filled in for a missing kid for part of that as well. The dude worked his ass off in the scorching heat. If anyone had earned themselves a good night’s sleep, it was Harry.

As with most things right now I am conflicted. On the one hand I am proud and happy and impressed at Harry’s hard work and excellent performance. On the other I am sad that it’s the last one. I’m going to say this a lot in the coming weeks, but Covid-19 seriously screwed him out of so many things. I am glad the school was able to sneak this one in at the last minute so that his final band concert didn’t turn out to be a Christmas concert in his Junior year. He’s missed out on a lot of things in the last year and a half. We have to find a way to make it up to him.

Thinking About Tomorrow

I have not played the guitar in a while now. It’s the weekend so you’d think I would be in the clear, but there’s a lot of stuff to do.

The grass in front of the house is getting long. The grass in the back and on the side have yet to be mowed at all this year. I’m super tall, six and a half feet tall or so, and I am literally scared to go into the back yard because the grass is so tall I am afraid I’ll get lost*. Seriously. That’s how badly it needs to be mowed. The weather looks clear, though slightly on the scorching hot, inferno, hell fire side of the temperature gauge.

More important, in the afternoon we have a high school band concert. The final high school band concert. I didn’t think we were going to get one, thanks covid, but we are. It’s going to be outside in the parking lot and my step son is playing with every single ensemble. Piano in some parts, and percussion in others. He’s awesome, the concert is going to be awesome, it is also going to be held in the parking lot because of covid in the scorching inferno hell fire temps, but it’s all kinds of awesome.

If I can sneak some guitar time in, I will. I’m not holding my breath though.

On an unrelated note, I got a notification on my laptop to reboot for a Mac OS update. I cancelled the notification because it was in the way of a window I was trying to use, but once I was done I rebooted my computer. When the computer came back up I was prompted to take a Mac OS update. What is this, Windows?

*When I said I was literally afraid to go into the back yard because I would get lost in the tall grass, I was not being literally. Allow me to stand here and watch your brain explode. Boom, babie.

Another unrelated note, I think the V key on my ancient apple keyboard is dying. Uh oh.

Wednesday Lunch Break

Lots of great stuff coming up for my step son, Harry. This weekend he will have his final High School band concert. Covid-19 is pushing the performance outside and there hasn’t been the usual time for rehearsing with the full ensembles, but it should still be a pretty sweet deal. I’m going to love it and I am sure he’s going to enjoy his last hurrah.

After that it’s his last week of school, and we all know what follows your last week of school… Graduation, babie! Thanks to Covid-19 (again) there are a limited number of seats available for the ceremony. We snagged four tickets. They also only provide one parking pass per kid… almost as if divorced parents weren’t a thing. The calendar says it’s 2021 but apparently in this particular town it’s actually 1920. He had to ask the school to give him two passes. The school agreed. Thanks, school.

Covid-19 has ruined all plans for a graduation party, which sucks. It has also ruined all plans for a Disney World trip/graduation present. We need to come up with post-pandemic replacements. I’m not sure what that will be at this point, but there will be something. He’s worked his ass off for 12 years to get to this point and he deserves something beyond just recognition.

Until we get all of that figured out, we will just have to shower him with well deserved praise. I don’t have the words to express how proud I am of my step son. He has grown into a wonderful person and he has accomplished so much. I see fantastic things in his future and I can’t wait for him to get there.

Good work, Harry.

Home

Bellana is all moved in. Her dad is bringing a few things up next weekend, but for now she’s there and most of her stuff is there and her roommates are there and everything is good. She has a new apartment, now she needs to transform it into a home.

Jen and I left Burlington around 4:00pm, maybe more like 5:00? I’m not sure. We chose to take the scenic route home which somehow led us to NH route 9 which is so winding that I’m sure we drove in a spiral at least twice, and it’s so badly lit (just some reflectors on one side and some reflective yellow paint) that I’m positive we were underground for at least 15 of the 40 miles.

We are home now. We are exhausted, proud, excited to see what comes next, but still a smidge sad.

Congratulations, Bellana.

Now it’s time to shift our focus to Harry who is graduating from high school in less than two weeks. I’m so proud I might pop like an over-proud balloon!

And So it Begins

The plan for today is for Jen and Bellana to leave first in Bellana’s car, and then I leave about an hour or so later in my car. They have stuff on the roof and are planning on driving slow. If I leave an hour later there’s a good chance I will pass them. I kinda don’t want to do that. I want Bellana to be there when I get there.

The cars were mostly packed last night. This morning we packed up the last few things, clothes and pillows and stuff she was using last night, and just a few minutes ago they pulled out of the driveway.

I am forcing myself to remember that I am only focusing on the happy thoughts today, and not letting the empty nest-ish blues take over. That’s my personal plan at least… and it’s already proving to be very difficult.

No… this is a good day. This is a good experience. She is happy, so I am happy. This is a good thing.

Our Last Day

Today has been the last day before Bellana moves into her own apartment. Allow me to let nine year old Bellana demonstrate how I feel:

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Now allow me to let nine year old Bellana demonstrate how she feels:

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