Regardless of the official date, for our family, summer is now arriving.
Huge ceremony today to watch my daughter graduate from 8th grade. There were almost as many students in her 8th grade class as in my senior year of high school. So it perhaps isn't surprising that the event was held at the high school, on the football field, instead of at her middle school.
As it was, the stands were filled to capacity and the parking lots were packed. When my daughter graduates from actual high school, her ceremony will take place in a nearby sports stadium instead. Upsizing for the crowds.
The event was pleasant. The morning favored us with a cool, grey day and the hundreds of eighth graders looked charming dressed to the nines in new shirts and suits and flowing dresses the shades of a garden of flowers. Hair was curled, balloons and bouquets were clutched, and cameras clicked everywhere.
After a long, hard slog through school this year, it is a relief to put all of the pressures away and simply be as a family for a small period of time. Just focusing on my writing, my work, and daily needs instead of always having to meet the next performance goal, the next assignment, the next bit of studying for the next high pressure test.
Both girls went through long and difficult finals (yes, even in eighth grade) and many end-of-year assignments, papers, and study sessions. I find myself looking forward to the day when I will finally be out of school, in that I will not have to help and support - and care - about these pressures of academic achievement any longer.
For now, we are scrambling into swimsuits and preparing to hit the pool as our first act of freedom.