Well, the bustling season of grad parties is almost over and life is getting back to normal.
To be perfectly honest I’m still reeling from those surreal moments of time travel that happened these past weeks. One minute it’s 2013, and the next moment I’m seeing familiar faces from the past and experiencing a rush of old memories that are so real and so visceral, I’m suddenly catapulted back in time.
“I can’t believe how fast it all went.”
We repeat this a lot during graduation festivities as we notice how tall our kids have become. How mature and at times, almost unrecognizable some of them are.
“Hi Mrs. Harris,” says a beautiful girl in a flowing red gown during a Senior Ball gathering. “I want to get a picture with the St. Mel’s boys.”
And suddenly I realize it’s little Kendra, all grown up and headed to USC.
Brandon, Kendra, Andrew and Michael
Kindergarten friends, all grown up.
This weekend I was reminded of the precious bond that exists between us and those friends we’ve known from the grade school years. People who can remember our kids when they were little guys with pink, flushed cheeks and chubby fingers. That’s because there are indelible memories of our kids that can never be transformed into words. Ever. You have to have been there. Watching, seeing, and witnessing it all in real time.
And it’s funny how those ‘big’ things eventually becomes the stuff to reminisce over, even laugh about.
a rainy game for the poor Fair Oaks Flash team…
Like those losing soccer seasons (oh-my-god did we win one game?). Or the outraged mother incident (“Patrick stung Katie with a dead bee he found on the playground!”). And that ridiculous call from the Principal’s office (a spin-the-bottle game between 8th graders?) Pu-leeze.
Those were the kind of experiences that helped us learn who our friends were. And yes, our close friends were the ones who had the funny perspective; who would roll their eyes alongside us at some of the rigid, judgmental practices during grade school. We hung out with parents who never got too lost in the crazy world of test scores and academic competition that drives so many glassy-eyed parents to worry and obsess …
my favorite part of Jesuit High School: the boys link arms during prayer
…and in the end, it all seemed to hit home this weekend at our beachy grad party.
Since Michael will be rowing in college at Newport Beach, I did a beach theme celebration in shades of blue.
The fact is, we have so much to be grateful, Jim and I.
We have each other. And some pretty cool boys. Who I might add, are totally responsible for a few gray hairs.
We’re thankful to my parents who have been such loving grandparents. And for the fun Uncles the boys have.
For Aunt Judy, Uncle Rick, and my girl cousins who shared my childhood and still make an effort to come to graduation parties despite the fact that our lives go in different directions.
And we’re grateful for the kind of friends who will join me in the kitchen during the frenzied moments when I’m trying to get the food on the buffet table.
Yep. Andy and Tracey and Kirsten, yanking my drawers open as they grab for utensils. Pulling food from the ovens.
And noticing the occasional big empty bowl.
“Hey Les. What’s this for?” (“Oh-My-God-Andy---I forgot to put the salad out!”)
But I also forgot to bake my 7 dozen homemade enchiladas prior to the party, a realization I had thirty minutes before dinner was to be served.
(note to self: OK, Mr. Moss is right. I do need crossword puzzles for my memory).
And after dinner everyone drank Sangria and cold beer on a 100 degree day in my patio and we laughed and talked and celebrated Michael’s special day together.
I wish I could make this batch of Sangria for you. It’s such a yummy summer drink but since I can’t, here’s the recipe I used to serve 40-50 adults. It’s Bobby Flay’s recipe.
10 bottles of Spanish red wine (I used tempranillo)
4 cups of Brandy
2.5 cups Triple Sec
5 cups Orange Juice
5 cups of Pomegranate Juice
2.5 cups Simple Sugar
Blend 24 hours before. Store in air-tight container and garnish with orange slices, pomegranate seeds, and blackberries.
Now let’s make a toast to friendship, shall we?
I’m linking up to these fun places: