Graduation Day

June 20, 2012

Walking into the church on Graduation Day
It only took me a week an a half, but finally I am getting around to sharing a few of the photos from Nick's big day! It was a day filled with a lot of emotion and I could tell that Nick was nervous/anxious when we saw him enter the church.

I absolutely LOVE our school and parish, and whenever they do something, they go above and beyond. This special mass was no exception.......

Monsignor Murphy, who has been at our parish for over 30 years, gave one of the most thought provoking and heartwarming homilies I have ever heard. Not only was his message directed at the 8th grade class of 2012 who are about to enter a whole new world with so many choices, but to the parents as well who are all learning and adjusting to letting go. He has a way with words.....and they always come straight from the heart! I don't think there could have been a dry eye in the entire church.

Walking out of the church on Graduation day
After the mass had ended, and the diploma was in his hands, you can see that he was much more relaxed and relieved. He was officially a graduate of 8th grade and will be entering a brand new high school in the Fall.

Nick With His Diploma BLOG
We met Nick out front of the church, along with every other proud family who was trying to find the perfect place for photos where you wouldn't have other people in the background. That was nearly impossible......

Family Photo Graduation Day BLOG
(Pat obviously did not get the family memo to wear something with pink in it to match Nick)
The one and only family shot I have from the day....and yes, there are a few peeps in the background, but it is going to have to do. Not my favorite photo of myself. I am looking kind of crazy and my hair, oh my hair! At this point, I felt like I went 10 rounds in the ring with Reagan. It was an early morning to get everyone up and to the church and she is not one that likes to sit still, so let's just say it was a long hour and a half for us. Poor Pat ended up pacing the back of the church with her towards the end because she was starting to get too antsy.

I still have more photos to go through, but wanted to quickly get a post up before too much time passes. Before we know it, we will be doing our "First Day of School" photos. Which leads me to this......

Nick had a tough last couple days of school. All along he has said he wanted to attend the public high school, but as his 8th grade year came to a close, I think reality set in. He realized that all of his close friends are going to be at a different school. His inner circle are all going to continue on to the Catholic High School....... and he is not.

As I was sitting in church the morning of graduation, one of the other moms came up to me and said she happened to be in school the day before......their last day of school. She said Nick was crying and could not stop. The minute she said it, I felt my heart sink. He had not mentioned a word to me when he came home that day.

He was sort of off all weekend, and after speaking with the other Mom, I knew I needed to have a heart to heart with Nick. My concern was that he was having second thoughts about the school he chose and if he was, I needed him to know it was okay to tell us. It is never too late to change your mind.

I spoke with him and he said he still wants to go to public school. I was still not totally my Mom talked to him as well when she had some one on one time with him last week. He told her the same thing.

It looks like we are sticking with the original plan of public school for now, but we are keeping all of our options open should things change as the summer progresses.

My kids are my everything and when I see one of them upset or having a difficult time, it just rips my heart apart. As the days have passed, Nick does seem to be in much better spirits, but I am keeping a close eye on him and prompting a lot of conversation about the upcoming school year in order to keep the lines of communication open.


Shari said...

What a wonderful day. I went to Catholic school for 13 years and 8th grade was probably the year I had the most fun. I still remember my graduation mass vividly. There were only about 22 kids and we got to plan it ourselves.
I continued to Catholic high school but wished I wouldn't have (only 86 kids in my class). I wanted to switch to public school, but mom and dad had other ideas.
While the education I got in Catholic school was priceless, I still do not reflect fondly on those 4 years, I needed a school with more options of extracurriculars, more kids to find a group I fit with, and one that may have identified some of my learning challenges so I could have excelled rather than struggled.
I think you are doing the right thing by letting Nick choose his own path, I'm sure there will be more tears shed as school gets closer, but even after school starts keep a pulse on it (I know you will) he may find public school too overwhelming, and beg to switch. There is always a semester- or trimester when that change can happen. You're a great mom!

Jboo said...

Congrats to the graduate and his family!! So many changes. So good to have an open mind and changes can always be made in the future. Hope he has a fabulous summer!


Kimberley said...

Congratulations to Nick! What a big day for him. LOVE the family photo.

GrandmaSherl said...

Congratulations to Nick. He seems to have a great heart for a man(soon to be). After raising 4 kids the most important lesson to me was communication. This is so important during the high school years since they get so involved with school and friends. You are doing a wonderful job Mom! Love your photography. Check out my daughter Thanks for your very inspiring blog.

Stefanie said...

Such a big day for Nick! Growing up just isn't easy and some things are especially difficult. It sounds like you are doing all you can to support Nick without smothering him... you are wise to allow him to make the decision :)
P.S. I love that family picture!

Jodee Leader said...

Congrats to your handsome guy! It looks like he had the perfect graduation day!

Change is sooo hard! I am already dreading middle school in two short years. I know it's going to be hard!

Hope Nick has a fun summer!

Tiffany said...

What a special day...we are having a similar year. High school and Kindergarten. Hope all goes well with Nick's choice and wishing him peace with his decision.


PS: Your hair is awesome:)

3 Peanuts said...

Lisa....I think these are beautiful is SO hard to get decent shots at these huge events. And I try to be really present for the actual milestone so my photos always suffer.

As for Nick....I am not sure if you read my post about Harry's 5th grade graduation but he too was having a hard time. The kids are all going in different directions as well. He had a hard time and I think this summer is even a little hard for him. When they are going from being a big fish in a small pond to the opposite, it is tough. Also, my boys have this feeling that they need to leave some things behind as they move on and I think that is scary. I think it is a time of transition that comes with a lot of emotion.

I vividly remember Will telling me he was not ready to grow up and stop playing with Legos and going to the Children's museum a few years ago but he thought he should because he thought he was too old. He was teetering between phases of growing up. That is very hard. I will say some prayers that Nick feels better soon. I also think boys feel all these emotions but they don't necessarily know what they are or what to do with them....


Unknown said...

What a very special day. I love the photo where he is looking back and smiling. I pray that the decision he makes will be right for him in his life. How hard it is to let them grow up and make decisions. I think it is so wonderful for kids to have a lot of people in their corner to talk to like your Mom for Nick.

Wanda said...

Oh, what a good mommy. I'm so glad Nick has a mom with an open mind and a soft heart. Makes me smile big. He'll do great as it really will be his decision where he goes in Sept.

I smiled...ok...laughed a bit at your description of the hour and a half with wiggly Reagan. Been there. You all look great in your one and only family picture, despite the lack of "pink" on Pat. (Oddly...I've been there

hugs my friend!!!

Gail said...

Nick is very lucky to have you as his mom. You're paying attention to how he's feeling right now, and there's so much change going on. It's hard.
Hoping that over the Summer he'll find the answers either way.

Congrats on your graduate! Love all the pics, especially the one of Nick with his diploma and the family one!!


likeschocolate said...

Congratulations! Though I am sure the moment was a little bittersweet. So hard to watch your babies grow up.

M3 said...

Oh Lisa, it sounds like you are doing the exact right supportive things -- listening to your gut and to him, checking and rechecking with Nick, and letting him know that you he can always make changes later if he's not happy with his decision. What more could a guy want? You're an awesome mama. He'll do great, and if he wants to make a change you'll all help him do it and he'll do great with that. Mwah!

snekcip said...

Congrats to Nick! I think Nick's emotions speaks volumes about his character. He recognizes and values friendship and the meaning of "family". Nick, whatever obstacles you encounter (and they could be far and few in between) always remember FAMILY is your backbone and you should never feel you cannot express your feeling to them. You...young man are going places. Continued blessings on your transition to bigger and even better things!! Cheering you on from TEXAS!!

Anonymous said...

Love this post. He is so handsome! I admire your photography so much and have enjoyed following you on Instagram! - I will be praying for Nick . . .

Debra said...

Huge congrats to Nick! It is so wonderful that you keep the communication lines open with your children. It would be a very tough transition into public school I would think. Do you know why he chose public over Catholic High? I'm already TELLING my girls that they will go to Catholic High,( God willing I can afford it). It is not a choice that my children will get to make at that age. I will always try to keep the communication lines open with them, but I am their parent not their friend. I hope this doesn't sound harsh. It truly is not said in that manner. I'm thinking that Nick may be too young to be making such a big decision, and thus the change in behavior? You know your child better than anyone else and you are his parent and know what is best for him. I wish him and you the very best of outcomes with this.

Mary Gene Atwood said...

What a handsome son! So great that if he changes his mind, (and perhaps it won't be until first semester in public high school) you will be open to change. I love "it's never too late to change your mind" so true.

Gina Kleinworth said...

Okay- lovely pics of course. I am so sorry to hear he is struggling. Breaks my heart. That is a BIG change & such a mature decision weighing on his shoulders. The important part is that you are there for him & it looks like he knows you are. It will work out.

Heather H. said...

Hi Lisa,

Sorry I've been so absent lately. I'll try to fill you in with an e-mail soon, or just go visit Shutterfly. I think that sums it up. Anyway, we are always critical of our own pictures. My first thought was 'what a great family photo!' So don't worry. It's hard for a child to grow up, and it's hard for a parent to LET a child grow up and start making some of those important decisions that will allow him to truly mature. You're doing great. I think letting him know he always has options is key.


Mimi said...

Lisa, as usual your photos are fab! Glad Nick had a good Grad, he looks so grown up and so handsome.
I know how you feel about his difficult last few days in school; isn't it really hard when our kids are going through a difficult time?
Zoe had a terrible end of school (6th year here)..there was trouble and the school cancelled their Grad and final 3 days of classes...BY TEXT! At 8.00 on a Friday night!
We still haven't had reasonable explanation and it's driving me mad.
I'm also keeping an eye out for her, hoping that she gets through her last 2 exams ok, as it's hard for them going in to the school.
We all want to pick the right school for our kids, so I'll hope and pray that this resolves over the hols., for yours and Nick's sake.
Lol re Pat and the family "pink" email!

Anonymous said...

I think the family photo is perfect. It is casual and relaxed. So what if your air is a bit awry (is it really?). You all look just great.

Tara said...

Hi Lisa, this is beautiful post honoring Nick and his accomplishments. I felt the ache along with you as you shared his struggle. How wonderful that you are oh so close (along with your Mom) and were able to talk with him about how he is feeling. Boy I hope I have that with my girls as they enter that phase!

Congratulations to Nick. He's beaming. And I love that you captured the nervous walk in. It made me feel like I was there. You're always able to share the whole story.

Love your family picture... hair and all. It's all just real life. There's nothing easy about keeping a little one quiet during Mass. I'm told I'll miss it someday :)

Congratulations again, tara

Lindy D. said...

Your Nick is one handsome guy! Love Sarah's arm around his shoulder. So sweet!

Ivy Shaffer said...

Congratulations Nick! I know you are so proud Lisa. I just can't get over how big and handsome he has become. HIs gentle personality still shines through.

Adore your family photo! Very pretty!!!

Awh, they do grow fast. Hold on to these images at least!!!


ww said...

Congratulations! Love the family photos, Gwen

Shaleice said...

I just found your blog and so glad I did. Your son reminds me of my little brother in high school right now. They're so cute and such good and helpful boys. :) You have such a cute family. - Shaleice