Coming Of Age
It was a great weekend. A milestone weekend.
Months of preparation for Youngest and his classmates, months of preparation for all of the parents and lots of work.
Friday night was the first portion of the festivities.
22 families met in the Children's Chapel for a ceremony wherein parents speak to their children.
Family after family stood together, lit a candle and spoke for a few minutes.
Some parents talked about what blessings their children are.
Some recalled stories from early parenting.
Everyone spoke about how proud they were.
I had a last minute idea and taped my speech to a ten foot long sheet of white butcher paper.
K and I stood with Youngest, he lit a candle
and we moved to the podium.
I let go of the roll of paper and it spilled down to the floor...so we got a good laugh.
(my speech, after)
K and I talked about what Youngest has taught us and how different he is (in a good way) and how proud we are.
We had a nice hug when we were done.
And we got a huge round of applause. (It was a great speech, but Youngest is a class favorite.)
Then it was time to walk across the immense lawn to the party. (Our church is on the grounds of an old estate.) Everyone was feeling so relieved to have gotten through their speeches and the kids were anxious to have fun. We walked past the orchard and down a long sloping hill, past the pond and then up some stone steps and into the house.
Groups of volunteers had : decorated several large rooms, and the terrace,
made gifts for the kids, arranged for delicious catered food, hired a dj - I could go on and on.
The kids were able to invite friends from outside the church community and there were about 140 people at the party. It took a little while for the group to warm up and start dancing but it turned out to be one heck of a bash.
Youngest danced long and hard and had a great time.
The food was really good! (I was surprised!)
Middle and a couple of his church friends provided adorable and strict security (guests were not allowed to "wander" through the house or run down to the pond or scoot over to the parking lot). K and I were the "security committee" and we had couples posted at three locations for 15 minute shifts to secure certain areas for the whole party.
It was a wonderful night - the kind of night when you remember that your chosen community is interesting and funny and loving. The parents we worked with and celebrated with have become dear to us over the years and it was so nice to spend time with them on Friday and watch our kids celebrate the end of a long year.
We got home after 11 - that's late for us...
In the morning I dropped Youngest off at church for a LONG rehearsal for the Sunday service and went home to cleancleanclean and cookcookcook for the small party we were having.
I got all the ingredients ready for a grilled chicken Cobb salad and some orzo with feta cheese and olives.
I also arranged for a special surprise for Youngest - something he's asked for for months and months...
he's always wanted a fruit bouquet. The kale freaked him out a little but he was happy. And he's eaten a LOT of fruit.
We cleaned and tidied and made pretty all day long, had BLT's for dinner and went to bed early.
Sunday started early - everyone up and dressed up for the COA service at church.
Youngest's godparents and grandmothers joined us to hear him read his Credo. We sat through 21 other kids reading their Credos too-
...and there was some singing, and some music.
Youngest played a wonderful trumpet solo and his Credo was truly amazing.
He's an "existentialist" and proud of it.
It was long and wonderful and moving, and, at the very end, when we sang the We Know Your Name song I had a good little cry.
Youngest looked tall and handsome and confident and I thought a lot about how much he's grown up this year.
I was very happy to find him after the service and hug him for a long time.
Everyone came back to our house and we sat in the backyard and had lunch and cake and chatted and laughed. And ate. Did I mention the eating? I'm still full.
It was a crazy busy wonderful weekend full of emotion and pride.
And here I am - Monday morning...with a very clean house and lots of leftovers.
Thank you for all your warm wishes. It's nice to have you around us on special occasions.