An hour-and-a-half later, cutting out nearly all of the cool transitions, some funky menus, a really nice credits screen, and a ton of pictures, and I finally, finally, got everything to fit. And no, it wasn't nearly as great as it was an hour ago, and yes, it looked more like an insurance sales PowerPoint presentation at this point, but my eyes were crossing, I was seeing spots all over the screen, and was seriously battling repeated bouts of narcolepsy every time I ran through the slideshow, so it just was what it was.
Took them to the mall yesterday and they picked out their own graduation outfits. All on their own. And I just stood there, for about 4 minutes, watching them debate fashion versus comfort, and I was getting all teary eyed in my proud mama moment. And then, of course, they knocked over a display of shoe shine kits all over the walkway and we were all on our hands and knees for the next twenty minutes trying to wrangle all the boxes and wrestle them back into the perfectly stacked cube, but for those 4 minutes, man, those precious 4 minutes, they were just amazing little human beings.
But they did manage to stay clean this morning. And they were so nervous and so excited, and it was all just so adorable.
Their names were announced one by one. They lined up on the risers in their red caps and gowns -- caps and gowns, people. At 6 years old. It was almost too much to bear. And I wanted to cry. Was about to cry. But again with the pressure to cry, and the tissue boxes being passed around before the ceremony had even begun (oh annoying assumptions), and then the kids, of course, both asking if I was gonna cry again, Mama, when was I gonna start to cry?
But in between climbing on top of the rickety classroom chairs in my sundress and heels to try to get a better shot over the baldspots and big hairdo's in front of me, and ensuring I was making appropriate eye contact with both of our children throughout the event (you would've thought it might've occurred to someone to, I don't know, MAYBE put them a little closer together), it was just a little more than difficult to try to find that moment in which I could step back and realize that these little creatures that we'd worked for a year a half to have, that I carried to 40 weeks, that I lay on bedrest for 4 months for, that I breastfed for 2 years, that we fed and nurtured and groomed and loved, and have somehow miraculously managed to get to this point without any major injury or loss of limb, that 6 years (over 1/6 of my life) have zoomed past, and that we would never again be here, right here, in this moment, watching those exact faces, with those bright and shiny eyes, with those toothless grins, and, what is that? jelly? is that strawberry jelly on his cheek? Oh, for crissakes!!
But yes, we were inevitably choked up at several points during the ceremony, none of which happened to be during their extremely loud and overly ambitious renditions of Proud to be an American and We Are the World. And let's just nevermind the inappropriateness of kindergartners singing about "starting again with just my children and my wife".
The reception was in the same building, just as crowded, ten times as loud, and so so so so stuffy. And guess what? Yes, that's right, the damn DVD player didn't even work, so we couldn't play the freaking slideshow I'd stayed up all night finishing.
And then they wanted to take pictures. With each and every one of their little friends, like they were never gonna see them again. Like they weren't gonna spend the next 12 years with these people, hating them, loving them, dating them, and breaking their hearts. It was beyond silly, but cute and adorable, too, and really just about driving Amy past her breaking point.
So, we snapped a final shot of the monsters with their favoritest teacher in the whole wide world (We do love you, Mrs. Daly!!), and headed off to celebrate the rest of their very special day.
Yay! Kindergarten down. Only twenty-two more years or so of schooling to go!!
LUNCH IN BERKELEY
We then dropped Mommy off at the tattoo shop to finish up her latest arm piece (pic to come later) while the kids and I ravaged a local bookstore, and then it was off to Jack London Square for lunch and a stroll along the marina. The food itself is never all that fabulous, but being by the water always, always calms me, gives me a sense of peace, centers me. And yes, it IS all about me. I AM the Mama!!!!
ONTO THE MOVIES TO SEE 'UP'
And Mommy was sooooo not having it. It had been a full day already, as far as she was concerned. And after being gone from her building for two weeks, and checking her blackberry every two seconds, she was already starting to get the shakes.
So when I mentioned going to a matinee as part of the neverending graduation celebration, she just curled her upper lip, threw on her sunglasses, and said, well, if there's anything showing at 4. It was, of course, already 3:44.
I quickly whipped out my iPhone [background music: dun-dun-Duuun-dun-dun-dun *theme from Mission Impossible*], clicked on my Fandango app, which immediately zeroed in on the closest cinemas to our current location. Adeptly scrolling down with only my right thumb as I reapplied my makeup in the mirror with my left and announced our choices: 'Night at the Museum 2' or 'Up?' I began to rattle off times, 5:15? 4:45? 4:30? Nope, nope, nope, she shot down. Guess there's nothing at 4, she smirked? It was now 3:50.
But I was undaunted. And the smoke began to emit from the speakers of my iPhone as we zipped and zapped and scrolled and searched. And then...there it was. 'Up' at 4pm, and only two minutes away. Mwuah-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!!!! Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVELOVELOVE my iPhone?
From there it was a dead sprint from the truck to the ticket office, to the concession stand, to the restroom, to our seats. And we still had time to spare!
The kids laughed and laughed. Particularly whenever there were potty jokes or tooter sounds. And I cried. At least 4 times. It was such a sweet movie. All about living your dreams. No matter what. Taking chances. Finding your next great adventure. And about true love transcending everything. Age, and loss, and death.
And I looked over at Amy, three seats down, with the loves of our lives between us, having reached such a momentous milestone today, with tears in my eyes and my heart overflowing, and a truly happy and knowing smile on my face.
And she was asleep.