Tonight is Graduation night here in our small rural North Florida county (we only have one high school so most of the county usually comes out for the ceremony in our football stadium) and since our family has been through this life event a few times, I thought I'd pass along some "words of wisdom" about what you might experience tonight....
1. No matter where you decide to sit, be prepared for that moment the family sitting behind you or in front of you will set off some kind of noise maker when their child walks across the stage. Whether it be an air horn, popping streamers, or Aunt Frieda hollering "Thank You Jesus!!!!" it's coming. One way to get prepared is to strike up some small talk and find out their graduate's name. That way you have some idea when to plug your ears. A lot of the people sitting around us at Kaitlin's graduation knew us so they were prepared when I started ringing my cow bell.
2. When getting your graduate's party planned, understand that most of their friends will be having parties that night too. So don't expect your graduate to hang around much at their own party. Especially if their friends parents rent out the largest building in the county, have a DJ, catered food and a foam machine for the dance floor. The night of Taryn's graduation we saw her for exactly 18 minutes at our house after graduation. Just long enough to get out of her cap and gown and to grab a piece of cake. But then again, Mark and I did have fun opening up all her gifts.
3. And finally, after all the fun and tears, pictures and memories, smiles and "wow, that time just flew by" moments, just know that when your graduate finally wakes up the next afternoon, they'll still expect you to do their laundry.