This is a story in three-part harmony.
Drove to Austin listening to my current favorite playlist. My youngest, McPaddie, was graduating from UT. My solo road trip was extra fun because I could sing at the top of my lungs. SWEET. This morning, I jumped in the car, turned on the tunes, and headed home. SWEET and SALTY. What a difference 24 hours make.
One: Before – Woke up yesterday morning at Austin Ann‘s peace haven. Something is off – oh, haven’t had coffee yet. Drink my body weight in java, read Nora Ephron‘s, “I Feel Bad About My Neck” from cover to cover. Jump in shower to wash off oompa loompa tan and get all gussied up for the Big Event. The second I see Ann, I tear up. Her baby just graduated from UGA, my baby will have a diploma in a couple of hours. It was a mom moment. Lots of deep breathing. Fairy Godmother, Poob, arrived, we put our high hoofs on and off we went.
Two: During – Met up with Miss Peach (eldest daughter) and her dad at the venue. Each school has a commencement ceremony; we were in an enormous venue for The School of Communications.
Yep, we were going to be there for hours. Poob‘s daughter graduated from Stanford; Oprah gave the commencement speech. We were anxious to find out who we would be listening to. Opened the program and OMG. The address was being given by a guy who dated one of our friends in high school and was engaged to another friend after college. I immediately sent a text to both women: “Craig Dubow is the SPEAKER!” Furious texts flew back and forth between Austin, Houston, and Fredericksburg. I mean, he does have cred – Chairman and CEO of Gannet Co., Inc. Whatev. We had most excellent seats and McPaddie was front row. She walked, we screamed, and two-and-1/2 hours later we hooked our horns, sang, “The Eyes of Texas”, and piled out into the Texas heat. Pictures taken all around amidst a throng of other picture takers. My graduate was one happy camper. Another mom moment – proud. Off we went for drinks at the W, very cool. Then Skywalker, the graduate’s fab love muffin, met us at Eddie V‘s for dinner. All great fun, saw the world, including friends we’d gone to UT with. Poob and I left the younger ones at that point; we’d been in graduation mode for 12 hours and it was closing time – for us. This morning, we left Ann with smooches, had a bite with the grad, hugs and smooches all around, and we headed in three different directions.
Three: After – Driving out of Austin for the umpteenth time, I turned up the tunes and pressed the pedal to the metal. But this time, it was different. My oldest has a big life in our home town. The youngest isn’t coming home. They are both amazing. We’ve all experienced a milestone. Listening to the music, tears started falling out of my eyes. Happy, proud, sweet tears mixed with some salty, sentimental mom water. Deep breathing. Nothing is impossible. Life is good. Mysterious, but good.
The Playlist, in no particular order
- “Raise Your Glass” – Pink
- “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey
- “Gimme Shelter”– The Rolling Stones
- “Stronger” – Glee Cast
- “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’Roses
- “Heads Will Roll” – Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
- “Born This Way”– Lady GaGa
- “Dueling Guitars” – August Rush movie
- “Defying Gravity” – Idina Menzel and Lea Michele
- “On The Floor” – Jennifer Lopez with Pitbull
- “Someone Like You” – Adele
- “Learn To Fly” – Foo Fighters
- “Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynrd
- “Shout It Out Loud” – KISS
- “Daughter” – Loudon Wainwright III
- “Mercy” – Duffy
- “I Was Made To Love Her” – Stevie Wonder
- “Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley
As for the three-part harmony ……..
Peach, McPaddie, Cita/iz
“A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.”
Blessed two times over, I am.