Jacob and his friend Bryn march onto the field to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance."
On Thursday, May 20th, my older son Jacob finally graduated from high school. It was a long and sometimes rocky road, but he did it!
Jacob waits among the Class of 2010, listening to the Valedictorian.
One of the perks of working for the school district is being allowed to join your graduate onstage and hand him or her the diploma. It was kind of scary when I did that for Sarah 2 years ago, but this time it was old hat!
Jacob gets his diploma and a hug from his mom onstage, while school board members look on.
I couldn't be more proud! Jacob is, of course , planning to serve a mission for our church in just a few months. He isn't sure what he'll do when he returns after 2 years, but he's leaning toward attending the culinary arts institute at Scottsdale Community College and becoming a pastry chef. He has quite a talent and interest in baking. (Makes it hard for a mom to lose weight...)
Jacob and Mary exit the stage and meet one of several photographers.
By graduation night, our family was on the verge of increasing by one person. A week earlier, on Friday, May 14th (which was the day after Jacob's DUI crash simulation at school), Ed arrived from his home in Wyoming for what we thought would be a 4-day visit. However, Jacob asked him to stay for his graduation, so Ed changed his plane ticket and extended his stay.
Mary, Ed, Jacob, and Dylan after the graduation ceremony. It was my last night as a single mom.
At the end of graduation night, we returned home and told the kids we were thinking about getting married the next day instead of waiting until June 24th, as we'd originally planned. The kids received the news with enthusiasm, so Ed and I decided to take the plunge.
Sarah showed up from the throng of people to join us in a picture.
After graduation, Jacob came back to the school to attend the graduation lock-in, a popular but optional event in which the new graduates spend the entire night locked in the school. They are well entertained with various games, foods, and activities all night long, including the chance to win great prizes donated by the community, such as computers, televisions, and even a car. With most of the newly graduated class in attendance, the fear of someone being killed in an accident after a night of partying is greatly lessened.
Jacob and Mary with Bryn and his parents, Rob and A'Lece.
And, yes, Ed and I did get married the next day, by a local Justice of the Peace. All three of my children were present. In fact, Sarah and Jacob--as adults--were our witnesses.
Jacob onstage to receive a small scholarship.
I also want to mention that we attended an awards program on the night before graduation, and we were pleased to watch Jacob win a small scholarship to help pay for college.
I'm so happy to watch my children grow up and prepare to move on in their lives. Sometimes it's hard to let go, but I truly want my children to enjoy full, happy lives in the years to come. I only hope I've done my job well enough!