23 May 2011

His Last Graduation - Maybe

Brace yourselves...this could be a long one! As it should be...he's done a great thing, so that warrants great blog space.

Back in January (yes...four months ago) The Husband graduated from the fire academy. I've slowly been regrowing my insides ever since they burst with pride over his accomplishment.

When I first met B, he told me he just wasn't a school kinda guy. It didn't take me long to discern that he likes to learn new things, he's incredibly smart and gets the grades, and please watch the vocabulary he likes to sling around when you're not expecting it, but he just couldn't swallow the concept of sitting inside all day. When you could be outside. With horses. And dogs. And grass. And fresh air. Doing useful stuff. Let's not even get started on his thoughts of homework...done after all the sitting in the building and not seeing horses and not breathing outside air, but the recycled air from the library and the cafeteria.

So instead of diving into horses and haystacks head first, chaps flying, he decided to go to college. Off to the 4-year university he went. When he took a break about 3/4 of the way through to accept a ranch-managing job that he'd always wanted to try, I wasn't all that surprised. And truly? I couldn't blame him...it was right up his alley, and it was a beautiful place. He was in his element and thrived. But, like all things in life, the job and the situation was fluid, and it was eventually time to move on to other things. This is when he decided to go back and finish school...good, happy news.

And when he graduated that time and hung up the beaten up backpack and mortar board, I asked him, "So, what next?"

You could have knocked me over with a feather: more school. Academy-style. With uniforms and running and sweating and long hours and not being home and testing and sweating.

Did I mention the sweating?

Once the academy came to a close and we began preparing for the graduation ceremony, I then hear about going back to school again for a fire degree and then back again for a Masters in Speaking Spanish (that's the technical wording right on the diploma), all to advance and enhance the job.

For someone that really can't swallow school, he sure seems to be going an awful lot.

I know it's dark and kinda hard to see, but he's in that line up, ready to go. Ready to be official. Lookin' all uniformed and handsome. (Hi, honey! Don't blush.) A serious perk for having a "B" name...front row, baby!

I'm just sitting here and thinking how helpful that badge could be. I think I might start carrying it in my purse on his off days. I'm sure that's totally legal and acceptable. I might even need a special holster for it.

They ended up not wearing their hats for the ceremony, which was fine, because there was a baby doll in attendance that needed it. It complimented her Vintage Stacey apparel quite nicely!

I hope she doesn't mind constantly rockin' the rewear...as in stuff that I wore 30+ years ago! But I can't help myself...I think it's SPECIAL. And some are groaning. I know, I know...she does have some clothes that are all hers, really! They grow out of everything so fast, though, so rewearing stuff that I - or my sister - wore saves a little money, too.

Not that I'm a penny-pincher or anything. Ahem.

I thought the little light blue dress would be a nice, matching touch for her daddy's dress uniform. And boy...does it ever bring out those baby blue eyes! I'm so in love with her eyes....

I was just telling my mother-in-law the other weekend that her daughters-in-law brought her some blue-eyed grandbabies into the fold!

You can't hear her, but my baby is asking someone to please take her home and put her to bed. She cannot figure out why she is up, awake, and out and about in the middle of some city. Where is her Harry Elephante? Where is Lambchop? Where are her soothing raindrops?

If only we had heeded her warning. We had no idea what she was storing up for The Most Important Part of the Night.

She was about to remind us of her routine. She was about to let us wear it right in front so many people.

This is where I mention how she chose to let everyone know during the pinning ceremony just how far past her bedtime it actually was:

She looks calm and normal enough, you might say. But you would be wrong.

Oh so wrong.

The moment we had to go on stage under the bright lights in front of the crowd of people - who supportively clapped and hollered and whoo-hooed - she lost it. Absolutely. Lost. It. She did the same thing when the bagpipes started to play. Really...if I had anticipated bagpipes, I could have warned her. I think I started crying when they played, too.

So there we were, up in front of everyone, cameras clicking, Important Fire & City People all lined up, and she is BAWLING. She is red-faced and MIGHTY unhappy. Every hand that B shook as we walked off stage said, "Don't worry...my kid did the same...." She must have heard these comments and decided to show out and best them all...it was THAT LOUD.

But it's okay, baby girl...Daddy will NEVER forget his pinning...that's for sure!

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