Cue the "Pomp and Circumstance", Thing 1 is officially a graduate of elementary school. Last night was the big event, and all went well.
Grade 8 graduation has morphed into a fairly big deal around here, considering that, really, all the kids did was show up for 10 years, many against their will. But I suppose the celebration is more a rite of passage, the passing of a milestone, than the acknowledgement of any particular effort. (There were a couple of kids who were there more in spite of their efforts, rather than because of them.)
For the girls, Grade 8 graduation is all about getting dressed up for an adult occasion for the first time in their lives; unless they've been to a family wedding or some such thing, it's probably the first time they've had any excuse to make this kind of fuss. Some of them deal with it better than others, let me tell you; the harsh reality that some people are just not meant to wear high heels was brought to the fore all too quickly.
It was nice to see everyone in age appropriate attire; fresh and pretty and, you know, thirteen. (There was a while in the early 90's, when all the Grade 8 girls wanted to look like Vegas drag-queens. I'm not comfortable putting makeup on by the metric tonne.) Just to tell you, Grade 8 girls are the bane of our existence at the hair salon. Since it is usually their first forray into having their hair done for a special occasion, they are spectacularly clueless about how to go about it. They never know what they want done, questions and suggestions are greeted with a shrug of the shoulders and raised eyebrows, and just when you think you're finishing your best work to date, they burst into tears. It's very tiresome.
Thing 1 and her friends had been planning their outfits for months. (Military invasions have been pulled off with less preparation.) But they did look beautiful, and Thing 1 was especially lovely in a pretty red dress. (Which was a size 3, if you can believe. I think one of my thighs was a size three once, for about twenty minutes.) I asked her some time ago what they boys would be wearing, and she replied "who cares!". (The boys were merely a prop.) One young man came dressed in a kilt, complete with all the trimmings, and he looked fabulous. Full marks to him, not every thirteen year old boy has the confidence to show up in a skirt.
All these kids I've known since kindergarten, and it was a real pleasure to see them all grown up and ready to take on the next phase of their lives. I just hope none of them need their hair done for a couple more years. Congrats, Sharks!