My son graduated eighth grade today. As of today, he is now a high schooler.
I had a million thoughts going through my head. I remembered the day my ex and I brought him home from the hospital more than 14 years ago, and how scared I was. I thought of the day before his first day of first grade, when his mother, from whom I had by then split, called me and asked me to talk to him-- they'd gotten into a fight. He told me that he was not going to first grade. He had no choice, I told him.
I thought of my own eighth grade graduation in June of 1975. The Vietnam War had just ended. Gerald Ford was President. Cell phones, ipods, home computers, dvd's and cd's were all still in someone's imagination. As I held my camcorder, weighing a little over a pound, recording his graduation, I thought about the instamatic camera that my parents took my picture with that day, and how much things have changed. As I thought about the fact that we are now in another pointless, grinding war, I thought about how little had changed.
Mostly, though, I stood there amazed at how my little boy had turned into a young man.