I sat in the son's high school courtyard at twilight, watching the swallows chase bugs as the moon rose overhead, while the son was inducted into National Honor Society.
I listened to the NHS chapter advisor talk about the meaning of NHS, how membership in NHS is for life, how it is a commitment to scholarship and service, and I remembered my own induction, years ago, listening to a similar speech while sitting on the stage of my high school's giant auditorium. The same stage where I danced. The same stage where so many things happened.
I remember the dress I wore that night. I remember the slender tapers we held that the seniors lit from their own, passing the flame to us. Never ever did I expect or imagine my progeny to be in that place, too. It was an odd feeling, knowing that I'd passed the light on in a very real way.
For the first time, I didn't just feel proud of my child, I felt proud of myself, for overcoming the challenges of my upbringing, for overcoming every single person who told me I was raising my kids wrong. I watched my son standing on the steps and I finally believed that he will do ok when I let him loose on the world.
Go listen to some music: "Roll With the Changes" from the album The Hits by REO Speedwagon. Possibly the funniest moment of the evening was speaking with two other mothers who were assuming the daughter would also be attending this high school. "Oh no!" I exclaimed. "She got into OCHSA!" And then I watched them try to process that. Yeah, yeah, yeah, massive backstory there.