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Graduation came and was successful. It was heart warming to see these kids, many of whom I have known for years and watched grow, celebrate the end of high school and the beginning of their journey into the world.  It was a wonderful ceremony and one of my favorite parts is that, as chair of the school board, I got to award Tim his diploma (and a big, proud mama hug). So very, very proud of Tim and his accomplishments, as I am of his brothers. They are great young men and I love them with all my heart.

Here are some of the pictures from the ceremony.

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Now, I’ve also got a complete set of pictures of the boys from each of their graduations.

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Today is an awesome day. It is the day that our youngest son will be graduating and closing the door on his high school years. Fear not though because a new door is opening for him and I am positive that amazing opportunities await him on the other side when he walks through that door and heads off to college in August.

I know that I am a bit partial, being his mother and all, but I am sure that there are those that would agree with me that Tim is an amazing young man. To say that I am proud of him and what he has achieved is an major understatement. He has an amazing work ethic, determination and resolve and he has demonstrated this in every task he undertakes. When we sat at senior awards last night and Tim was called to the stage several times, I can assure you that it was solely as a result that hard work and tenacity. The long hours, dedication and determination he showed in everything he did in high school were apparent and recognized last evening. These traits will serve him well in whatever he chooses to do in the years to come and whatever path he chooses to walk through life. I know that I am not alone when I say that I will miss his cheerfulness, helpfulness and his especially his singing when he departs for college next year.

Watching your child mature and flourish through the years is an amazing opportunity and I am privileged to say that I am “Tim’s mom”.

To my dear graduate and all his classmates, a heartfelt congratulations. Enjoy your special day, you worked towards it from the very first days of school. Revel in your accomplishments, it has truly been a job well done.

With all my love,

Mom

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Tonight was one of the big milestones on life’s path – our oldest son graduated high school. Last night was the Senior Awards Ceremony and I am proud to say that TJ was the recipient of two scholarships and a bunch of academic commendations. He and his fellow classmates have a lot of talent and it was apparent at the awards ceremony, where there was much to celebrate over the course of the evening. As eloquently stated by our principal last night, the awards ceremony celebrated the students’ differences, their different achievements — be they in academics, community service, athletics or music. The graduation ceremony tonight celebrated their similarities – each and every one of the students tonight received the same diploma marking the conclusion of their high school careers and marking the same milestone on their life journey. They are a wonderful group of young men and young women that I have had the pleasure of watching grow in the years that I have known them. They have grown into amazing people that will do wonderful things in the years to come. I am very proud of TJ and his friends. They are amazing and I wish all good things to them.

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I think that the older they get the boys realize more and more how important they are to each other and how important their friends are to them. Tom and I have often told the boys as they were growing up that one of the best things to come out of our school and college years were the dear, dear friends that have shared many laughs and many tears in the years that followed college with us. Together, we have celebrated marriages, births, graduations and the growth of our children. We have cried together over the loss of family members, and other devastating life events. Good or bad, they were there for it all. Today, two of our very dear friends drove up with one of their daughters, our goddaughter, to be here for TJ’s graduation. It was a wonderful gesture and I know that they know how much it meant to both of us and for that I will be eternally grateful.

As the boys grow into their own lives and their own friendships, I hope that they are fortunate to find such dear, loving friends — friends that I have always liked to refer to as my “2 a.m. friends”. These are those friends that I know without any doubt whatsoever that I can call upon in the middle of the night  to ask a favor or talk to or cry  with or whatever and they will do it or be there without any question or any hesitation. These are the friends who were there when I miscarried and later when I was put on bedrest with TJ who brought me yummy muffins and smoothies and who believed in my ability to nurse when I wasn’t so sure myself;  the friends who did all kinds of amazing things for which I am eternally grateful for me and my family when my dad passed away suddenly; the friends who watched my boys when Tom and I came down with the flu at the same time and couldn’t move a muscle; the friends that would leave breakfast foods on my doorstep when we got here in the middle of the night or had dinner waiting when we arrived from New Jersey; the friends that come and spend the holidays with us and make me feel like we haven’t missed a beat in years; the friends that would drive 6 hours in total to be there for your son’s graduation because they know how much it means to you. These are the friends that I hope that my boys have the good fortune to have in their own lives.

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We are so fortunate to have such wonderful friends and such great sons. They have made me so proud that I think my heart will just burst at the seams. Tonight was an amazing ceremony and we are so proud of TJ and his fellow classmates and friends.

“I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.” – Anonymous

I love you TJ and am so very, very proud of you today and always. ~ Mom 

 

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When you’re in school, it is referred to as “spring fever” or “senioritis”. The feeling that things are winding down and should be over already. The itchiness that comes along with the sunshine and warm temperatures. The desire for the laziness and freedom of summer and all that comes along with it. It has been a hectic school year for all of us here with lots and lots of things going on — one son completing senior year and his college search, one driving and working through the difficult junior year course load and the youngest busy with music and coming into his own high school career as a sophomore.

Soon, very soon in fact, will be course selections for next year for the younger two who will be a junior and a senior next year. Right around the corner is the prom for all three boys –the first and last time that will happen (with all the preparation that goes along with tuxedo rentals and corsage flowers), the various awards nights at school coming up on the schedule for music, theater, academics and seniors. That will all be followed closely by college orientation, exams and graduation in June.

I am torn between wishing that time would slow to a crawl and preserve those precious moments left before one leaves for college and my anticipation of all those wonderful events coming up in the next few weeks to celebrate lots of good things.

Things are squared away nicely with TJ having made his college choice and knowing that he is happy and looking forward to the start of a whole new chapter in his life. Tim will be spending a good chunk of the summer abroad experiencing places that I have never been to in my life. Tyler will be working and starting his college application process with lots of essay writing mixed into his summer. Adventures will abound this summer.

The coming weeks will be filled with lots of fun, laughter, pride and tears of happiness. Looking forward to every minute of it.

 

 

Cover of "Bye Bye Birdie"
Cover of Bye Bye Birdie

It’s hard being a mom sometimes. You second guess yourself and then you second guess your second guessing… and well, you get it. You see things in your kids that they might not even see and you want things for them that you swear that they don’t even know that they want. Tonight was the high school auditions for Bye Bye Birdie. We “encouraged” Tim to go. The boy honestly has talent, he is a born entertainer. No stage fright, he morphs into a character in an amazing fashion. Auditions were open to 8th through 12th grade. Usually middle school is not part of the high school productions so this was a bit of a big deal. Tonight, we walked into the gymnasium and into a sea (okay so not quite a sea, more like a gaggle if indeed teenagers can be called a gaggle) of high school kids. Tim walked in, looked back and gave me one of those “Thanks for throwing me to the sharks, Mom” looks. My heart froze “what had I done?” His friend had promised to go with him to auditions, but he was nowhere to be seen. At a glance, my little, youngest, baby 8th grader was in a room of high school kids. So what did I do?

I left. Seriously, sounds horrible but I left. I had to leave to drive my middle son somewhere and honestly I thought that he would be less self-conscious if I wasn’t the only mother (or parent) in the auditorium (which at that moment I was). Bad enough that the poor kid was thrown to the sharks, but did Mom have to bear witness?

I am happy to report that when I returned I got a “thumbs up” from the little man and I sat for a while (there were a couple other parents there by then) to see him sing and perform. As I suspected he was great, wonderful – totally in his element.

The long and short of it was that he came away from the audition with a good feeling. He thought that he did his best and he’ll have to wait to see if he gets a part (and if so, which one). I hope that he does, since I know that this is where he belongs – where his talent shines (and not just coming from his mom). The “sharks” turned out to be a great bunch of kids, very welcoming and very encouraging -to Tim and to each other. And he turns out to not be the only 8th grader there, which was also good.

Now, we sit and we wait for the cast sheet to be posted. Hopefully, when he comes home it will be with a smile on his face. :)

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After a day of writing donation request letters, we were surrounded last night by even more letters, except these were the varsity kind. It was the Winter Sports Awards Ceremony at the boys’ school. Our oldest, TJ was on the varsity snowboard team which is quite the honor being a freshman. Vermont is one of only two states in the country that even has varsity snowboarding as a sport. Since he was on the Varsity team he was of course entitled to receive his varsity letter. Big deal to a high school kid and of course bigger deal to the parents of a high school kid who were pretty darn proud. So where, you may ask, did this whole Varsity Letter thing come from?

The history of the Varsity letter supposedly began with (can you guess?) Harvard. In 1865 its baseball team started sewing an old English letter “H” onto grey flannel shirts. The team wore the shirts for games. and if a player was especially good at an important game or scored a significant amount of points, they were permitted to keep the shirt. About ten years later, the Harvard football team began incorporating the “H” letter on their uniforms.

It was quite the nice change from the letter writing I had been doing all day. Then I jetted out of there for the youngest one’s final rock climbing competition. His middle school team came in third place for the season.

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Yesterday, our youngest son spent his entire day at the Rutland Intermediate School with the rest of the students chosen for the Green Mountain District Music Festival. They practiced and practiced and practiced some more. Tim was chosen for middle school chorus. He spent the day with kids that he know but a lot that he never met. He sang and laughed and ate (they did manage to feed them, and quite well he said) and then they all dressed up in the black and white best and performed last night for a packed auditorium. There was the high school orchestra, the jazz ensemble, the string orchestra and the middle school chorus. These kids were awesome – all of them. The music and the performances were great.

Best of all, he had a fantastic time. He left there at 9 o’clock last night – after spending 12 hours there, happy as can be with a grin from ear to ear. He talked about it all the way home. It was a good day for him and a good performance for the audience.

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Relaxation is over. The RVs have been returned and the vacation is but a memory. Today I am wading through the contents of two trailers, plus all of the kids’ clothes and paraphernalia that has been accumulating in our den/laundry room through the summer, the canoe trip, the week at scout camp, the soccer camps, the electronics camp and now finally, vacation. Add to the mix, just for fun, the fact that our house is undergoing some renovations at the same time, and literally I cannot find a thing. I hope that someday I will find the things that I have pretty much given up on locating, figuring that they are the things that are hidden well underneath the piles that have been growing here and there.

Be that as it may, tomorrow is the first day of school. For the little one (relaxing so nicely in the photo above) tomorrow is his first day in middle school. For the oldest, it is the first day of high school. (Boy, do I feel old – high school!). The middle guy is entering 8th grade. Everyone is well back in the swing of things as soccer practice started for the 7th and 8th graders yesterday and TJ rejoined his team yesterday after coming back from vacation. Tomorrow is his first scrimmage. We have left the comfort and ease of summer’s lazy days for the more hectic, crazy days of school and fall sports. Our days are no longer our own, but at least we went out with a nice, lazy week at the beach.

I love the fall, the start of school, the beginning of a new year of sorts. I guess that it is perpetual student in me that thinks the year starts more at the beginning of the school year rather than at new year’s. Oh, and by the way, the weather tends to agree since evenings are forecast to dip into the 30s on Thursday night. Brrr…winter cannot be far behind.

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