Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spring Showers, The Spring Fing and Graduation

The Rhino had a middle school dance scheduled for Friday, the Spring Fling.

But then, sadly, he and his girlfriend broke up last weekend. He's fourteen, so the only "dates" they had been on were group dates with all their friends, but he was naturally really down after the breakup. He decided he wasn't going to go to the dance after all, despite already having purchased a ticket, and we certainly could understand that.

I thought it would be good for the Rhino to have his guy friends rally around him this weekend. That way, if he had to stay home, he wouldn't be dwelling on it. Final exams, after all, wouldn't begin until Tuesday with this three-day Memorial Day weekend.

We set up a sleepover for Friday night. Most of the Rhino's friends are also his big brother's, so we invited two 15 year-olds. The Engineer had poker that night, which runs sometimes until midnight, but that was okay, because I would be home to watch all the guys until he came home. We planned to go see the new Terminator movie around noon the next day, and have their parents pick them up from the theater.

Friday night was also High School Graduation. A friend's son was graduating, but I'd already told my friend I couldn't make the actual graduation, because at the time I thought I'd be taking the Rhino to his Spring Fling dance. Instead, we would attend an open house for the graduate Saturday afternoon. It would be a little tight with all the guys coming for the sleepover, but they would be home before we had to leave for open house.

For some crazy reason, the Friday graduation was scheduled to be held OUTSIDE, in the high school stadium, which is just nuts. In Florida, at this time of year, it is insanely hot and humid, and graduates wearing clothes under their robes, wanting to look their very best for graduation night, end up sweaty and irritable instead from the hot Florida sun.

But sun wasn't the problem.

I know the saying is, "April Showers Bring May Flowers," but it's been all showers here in May! For the last week, Florida has been hit with a barrage of showers. The county north of ours is literally underwater. Don't believe me? Check out the Daytona Speedway track:

Because of the rain chance Friday night, graduation was moved to--can you believe this?!--Saturday morning at nine. Forget all those graduation parties Friday night! You have to get up at 7 in the morning and be at the school by 8 to get ready! I was happy for my friend, though, since she had scheduled her open house for Saturday afternoon.

So, things *seemed* under control.


Thursday morning rolls around--THURSDAY!!--and the Rhino says, "I think I'm going to the Spring Fling tomorrow after all."

Seems one of his friends had broken up with her boyfriend recently as well, so they decided to go together.

Which is all, "Awwww" and nice, sure, yeah, but it meant I spent Friday ordering a corsage (and of COURSE the Rhino had no idea what color her dress was!) as well as shopping for the sleepover and making sure it was okay if I left the other boys alone at the house for an hour so I could drive the Rhino to the dance (because, remember, the Engineer was playing poker).

I got a white carnation corsage (White goes with everything! It will be all right!) with a sparkly silver ribbon, praying the girl would not wear gold jewelry.

Friday night was a hectic night, full of tracking down dress socks and shoes and trying to remember how to tie a tie (I blame my left-handedness for never mastering this art), which we did by--I swear I am not making this up--downloading a video from Youtube.

We ordered pizza for sleepover dinner, the Rhino dressed up in his black suit with the brick-red shirt and black/red tie, I handed him the secret weapon (breath mints) and I reminded him twenty times or so NOT TO FORGET THE CORSAGE and we were off.

It was, I noticed as I drove along, a beautiful balmy night, with no rain at all despite the forecast. They could easily have held the graduation Friday night after all.

The Rhino's date wore--amazingly--a red and black dress, matching him perfectly.

The Engineer picked the Rhino up from the dance at midnight (no Cinderella jokes allowed!) after his poker game was done.

Meanwhile, at the sleepover, the kids were in bed a little after midnight, though they stayed up talking until 2 in the morning.

Yay! Success!

Then Saturday we wake up late.

To the sound of Rain. Buckets of it. All over town.

And all over the graduating class of 2009.

At the open house later, my friend explained, "We had to stand in the 'tunnel' of the stadium to keep from getting wet. No, not allowed, but none of the relatives had rain gear. The minute they called for his row to stand up, the rain came pouring down. We could barely see him on the stage, because there were so many open umbrellas in front of us."

And this after both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles had traveled from Ohio and Michigan to see him graduate. I felt so bad for them!

But the open house was lovely. They'd rented out the church fellowship hall and done the whole place over in the school's colors. My friend is a Scrapbooker par excellence, and she had fabulous books full of all the mementos of his school years. His track trophies were on display, along with small treasure chests on the tables, with costume jewelry and coins spilling out, in honor of the school's Pirate mascot. She had a buffet, a huge cake, napkins printed with his name and graduation year (thank goodness, not Friday's date). Even the silverware was wrapped and tied with raffia bows in school colors.

I told the Owl, who graduates in two years, that to top this we'd have to go to the Caribbean and get some real pirates.

Honestly, there's no way I'm matching up as a Mom, people. I don't have scrapbooks, I have digital photos and the blog!

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