My neck craned as I watched a flock of blue graduation caps take to the skies like bluejays darting towards the heavens.
Graduation is on my mind lately. My eldest finished high school (WHEW!) and my second born son and nephew both and finished middle school. My parents-in-law and mother are spending a week with us to enjoy these family milestones. These are key moments for the elder trio of first generation immigrants in the Hello Kitty household.
My status also graduated from being mom of two boys to mother of one adult son (gulp) and one minor. It’s an odd position being sandwiched between two generations of folks, my parents and my children. I’ve been middle-aged for a while, but now am I a genuine old lady?? I am very aware of my mortality during this family gathering, a rare one for members of our clans.
My “boy” who towers almost a foot over me can buy cigars, drive unrestricted, and is registered to vote. Since he has part-time work, he’s no longer completely reliant on me for money, food or clothing. In fact I take advantage of his young adult status to send him on occasional driving and grocery errands which he happily obliges. My worrying Mom mind is fighting to avoid overprotective thoughts of: “Will he get up in time for early morning college classes?” “His roommates will resent his sloppiness.” “No one will be there to help him search for his lost belongings.” He is a man now, almost out of the nest. The rest of his up him.
My mother is aging. She’s still young at heart, but I notice that after spending ten days together, her mind and body are slowing down a bit. She repeats stories, confuses or forgets little details. I force myself to keep a bride’s stop-and-go gait when we are walking together. Her skin is still smooth and her hair black, but I note the little signs of being elderly in her septuagenarian form. She shuffles along, oblivious that I have turned up my patience dial a couple of notches. Mom reminds me of how much she missed me when I left for college. I am only a year older than she was when I flew my coop. Will I miss the piles of stinky laundry that is an obstacle course in my firstborn’s bedroom? Probably.
Most touching of all is observing the trio of grandparental units strolling down memory lane. Their own courtship and school tales, stories of the early days here in the States are the pit stops that dot their journey. They pass on some of these tales to the younglings, their grandchildren, who listen with patient expressions but distracted minds. The young heads are filled with, “Yay, no more homework for three months!” “I’m graduated,” and plans for what movies they’re going to watch past midnight.
This is a golden time, precious fleeting moments, when all three generations can mingle together and enjoy each other’s company. The grandparents are feeling grand today.