Tag Archives: graduation

The Mister Hits a Homer

Jake holds his new prized possession.

Jake holds his new prized possession.

During spring break the Mister asked Jake a supposedly innocuous question: If you could have an autograph from any major league baseball player, who would it be?

Our older son, who boasts an encyclopedic amount of useless baseball information in his gray matter, didn’t hesitate one bit.

“Billy Martin,” he said. He’s always liked the fiery former player and manager.

After the boys returned to their respective college campuses, the Mister asked me what we were going to give Jake for his upcoming UTSA graduation. Naturally, I thought being debt-free should be enough. However, the doting dad had other ideas.

And that’s why the day after we returned from watching our pride and joy walk across the Alamodome stage, Jake opened one unique present from us.

So cool!

So cool!

Yep, it was a baseball autographed by the one and only Billy Martin, scored by the Mister on eBay.

Jake was thrilled! “Most people wouldn’t understand how meaningful this is to me,” he said, as he inspected the signature. “It will always be special to me.”

You’re special to us, sweet boy!

One-Word Wednesday

The Mister, Jake, Josh, real mom Cindy, girlfriend Claire, and real dad Charles surround Chase after he graduated from Rice University last Saturday.

The Mister, Jake, Josh, real mom Cindy, girlfriend Claire, and real dad Charles surround our “third son,” Chase, after he graduated from Rice University last Saturday.

Proud!

The bros: Jake, Chase, and Josh

The leaning bros: Jake, Chase, and Josh

Another Milestone Achieved

Why we’re in the Alamodome

Why we’re in the Alamodome

Something about “Pomp and Circumstance” makes me cry. Could be because of what it signifies.

You might think that after watching two emotional high school graduations that my eyes wouldn’t tear up when hearing that standard ceremonial march. But you would be very wrong.

Jake shows off his class ring Green Lantern style.

Jake shows off his class ring in Green Lantern style.

Of course, this time there was much more at stake, because it was Jake’s commencement ceremony from the University of Texas at San Antonio. After four years that seemed to be over in a minute and a half, my older son was set to graduate last Saturday afternoon in the immense Alamodome.

As I waited with the Mister and C.J. for about two hours (which did not fly by) before the start of the festivities, I reminisced about how far my beloved chubby, blue-eyed baby had come. I thought about when we got his acceptance letter from UTSA, orientation, and that painful moment when we moved him into his dorm. Talk about your emotional rides!

Jake seems to enjoy talking to a college official.

Jake seems to enjoy talking to a college official.

Even within a sea of graduates (Jake’s College of Business seniors joined those from the College of Architecture, which included his former roommate Ben, and the College of Public Policy), my eyes were focused only on my son. Watching him walk across the stage to accept his faux diploma (he has to wait a month or so for the real thing) was a moment of immense emotion for me. I couldn’t be prouder of Jake!

The smoke from indoor fireworks and streamers rain down on the graduates.

The smoke from indoor fireworks and streamers rain down on the graduates.

Plus our family added its third alma mater (after my University of Illinois and the Mister’s University of Houston). Go, Roadrunners!! We appreciate and value Jake’s college education.

We’re glad C.J. has long arms!

We’re glad C.J. has long arms!

Once Jake finally found us outside and we snapped a few photos, it was time to move on . . . literally in many ways (well, after we had spent about 20 minutes trying to get out of the parking lot). After dinner at Pei Wei, we put all of the graduate’s possessions in our cars and made the three-hour trek back to Sugar Land where we finally ended our long day’s journey into night and then into day again (we started at 9 a.m. Saturday and returned at 12:15 a.m. Sunday). Everyone was exhausted.

Definitely!

Definitely!

Now Jake gets to relax for a couple weeks before he becomes a working man. How will he handle the transition from school to the real world? All he has to do is remember the fortune he got!

A Surprise in the Mail

Unbelievable!

Unbelievable!

Need proof that time does actually fly by? This was an envelope we received in the mail the other day.

Yep, my older son will graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio in May!

Very official

Very official-looking

When we dropped him off in late August of 2010, four years seemed like an eternity. It’s almost surreal that our older son will reach this important milestone in a matter of months.

One more semester. Only 12 more hours (four classes) left until he has his marketing degree. What a wonderful achievement for him!

The Mister and I would like to make one little change to the wording on that envelope, though:

“That day you’ve been waiting for . . . off your parents’ payroll!”

Hope that’s not just wishful thinking!

One-Word Wednesday

The kid shakes hands with the school district’s superintendent at his high school graduation last Saturday.

The kid shakes hands with the school district’s superintendent at his high school graduation last Saturday at the Toyota Center.

Graduate!

Graduation Support

The motley crew: The Mister, Uncle Mike, #1 son, Aunt Carol, me, and Grandma surround the kid after his graduation last Saturday.

The motley crew: The Mister, Uncle Mike, big bro, Aunt Carol, me, and Grandma surround the kid after his graduation last Saturday.

It was a given that his loving family would be cheering on my younger son at his high school graduation last Saturday at the Toyota Center. The Mister, our older son, and I were joined by my mom (who flew in from Chicago), as well as the Mister’s siblings, Carol and Mike.

Best disc golf buddies: Glen, the kid, and Eric

Best disc golf buddies: Glen, the kid, and Eric

But adding to that support crew were two men who have been special in my son’s life for several years, Eric and Glen. They are his best friends, adult division.

Eric advised my son at the 2010 amateur disc golf worlds in Ohio.

Eric advised my son at the 2010 amateur disc golf worlds in Ohio.

We met Eric in December of 2007 at my son’s first disc golf tournament (the kid was 12 years old). They played on the same card in the first round. Since then they’ve made great doubles partners, winning the 2011 Amateur World Doubles championship, as well as good traveling companions and friendly adversaries.

Glen and the kid walk together during a tournament.

Glen and the kid walk together during a tournament in 2010.

Glen came into my son’s life in 2009, and it seemed like they instantly bonded. Their mutual love of sports and ability to not take themselves seriously enables them to always have fun together.

I’ve trusted Eric and Glen to take care of my beloved baby boy on numerous occasions, including when Glen and his wife Kelly toted the kid to and from Michigan, playing disc golf along the way. It’s wonderful how both men can be terrific mentors and friends for my young man in their own separate ways.

The Mister and I really appreciated that both of them took time out from their busy lives to attend our son’s graduation. We know it meant a lot to the kid that they were by his side during this important milestone.

It does, though, make me wonder one thing: Who will miss my son most when he’s at Sam Houston State this fall? Me or Eric and Glen? I know the kid definitely will miss them, too.

And maybe even me!

To the High School Class of 2013

The cap and tassel are ready to go.

The cap and tassel are ready to go.

Three years ago when my older son was preparing to walk across the stage at Houston’s Toyota Center, where he would graduate, I thought about what I would say to his class if I was asked to add a few words of wisdom. Of course, I wasn’t, so I published them in this blog instead.

Now it’s his younger brother’s turn to cross that same stage tomorrow afternoon. In case they need me to fill in for one of the speakers, I’ve still got that speech ready to go:

To my beloved younger son’s graduating class:

Today is a huge milestone in your lives. You are high school graduates! Even though this is a “commencement” ceremony, it’s actually a beginning for all of you. Make what you do in life count!

“Can’t” is the most-negative word in anyone’s vocabulary; don’t let it be part of yours! “Would’ve,” “should’ve,” and “could’ve” are negative traps that prevent you from moving forward with your life. It’s important to stay positive on the road to success. Make your own breaks!

Be sure to pay it forward—be thankful for what you’ve been given and what you’ve earned in life. Gratitude is the best attitude. Be grateful, not hateful.

Don’t forget the Golden Rule—do to others as you’d like done to you. If only everyone lived by this rule, we’d have no wars, no strife, no pushing and shoving in the back seat of the car by certain brothers I know.

second-#2369-(cap-gown-tassel)It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing! What matters is what you’re doing. Set a good example, be a great role model, inspire others. You know right from wrong—choose to take the right path; don’t follow someone else down the wrong road.

Tell the people in your life how you feel about them, hopefully, in a positive way. It can be too late to say “I love you,” “thanks for all you’ve done for me,” and “you’re my world.” Don’t let important words just hang in the air . . . say them.

Bask in the moment! Remember that your parents and loved ones are extremely proud of you today. This is a fulfillment of a dream, one of many in your lifetime. Enjoy it and look forward to the next one.

e.e. cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Be courageous! Take chances! Reach for the stars!!

Milton Berle said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Whether you build doors or knock them down, know that we believe in your ability to succeed. Best wishes to the Class of 2013. Continue to make us proud!

And to my precious #2 son, you never fail to make me proud of you. When you started kindergarten, I had tears in my eyes. When you walk across the stage tomorrow, I again will have tears in my eyes. Tears of joy, pride, and wonderment that I’ve had the pleasure of watching you grow up these past 18 years. You are a wonderful young man who will succeed because you have a great heart, sense of humor, spirit, and intelligence.

I’m the luckiest mom in the world! I love you forever and ever plus a day!!