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Roadtrip – Day 3

June 4, 2007

Sunday

8:00 am – We’re up. We’re thinking that we’d like to take all of the kids to go see the Pirates 3 movie today. We’ve seen the other two and we’re a movie-going family. We saw the first one with hubby’s folks and we think it might be fun for the whole crew (all 19 of us) to go see this one together. We suggest it.

10:00 am – We’re still hashing out the merits of seeing the movie today vs. tomorrow. We’re thinking Memorial Day will be really crazy at the theater. If we go before 2pm today (although we wanted to go to the 10am showing) we’ll still get the matinee price. This is important when we’re talking about 19 people.

11:00 am – We still haven’t decided about the movie, although hubby and I have definitely decided to take our clan. We’re having a good laugh about the odds of getting 19 people to agree on something. We set out for the nearest Walgreens to purchase contraband snacks for 99 cents. Yes, I know the sign on the front door says “No outside food or drink.” In my opinion, that it only a suggestion, even though they make it sound like a demand. I’m pretty sure someone should work on the whole “more flies with honey than vinegar” thing with those theater owners. Not that I’d be tempted to pay four bucks for a little box of Hot Tamales even if they asked nicely, but you get my drift. At $5.75 for the tub of popcorn (cost to the theater $0.25) and $4.75 for the soda (cost to the theater $0.25), I’m thinking they’re getting the good end of the stick even if we do bring our own candy.

12:00 pm – We arrive at the theater we thought we should go to, only to find out that it’s not the correct theater. We play five minutes of cell phone tag to get ahold of the remaining clan that is planning on attending this viewing with us, get directions to the right theater, reload the van with our soccer team and their contraband candy, and set out for the other theater.

12:15 pm – We arrive at the correct theater and find the remainder of our movie-watching party. We spend a small fortune on popcorn and drinks (see above) and miraculously manage to find seats for all of us. We breathe a sigh of relief and get comfortable (as comfortable as possible, anyway) in the theater seats.

3:45 pm – I wasn’t honestly all that impressed, although there were some funny moments. It’s been three hours of movie-watching and I have a crick in my neck, my legs are asleep, my ears are ringing, and I feel like my blinking eyelids should come with a soundtrack of their own (blink, blink, blink) as I readjust to the light. I’m usually a movie buff, but I get the teeniest bit annoyed when I pay about the same amount for an afternoon of entertainment as I’ve paid for my monthly car payment and the movie doesn’t live up to my expectations.

7:00 pm – The actual graduation. The thing we’ve been waiting for. The reason we came. I get a little emotional at the sight of the nephew in his cap and gown, walking to his seat to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance. The principal says a few words and there are a couple of speakers from the nephew’s class, although I can’t hear much because the large group in front of us seems to think this is a social hour. I do manage to hear enough of the second speaker that I know he came from South Africa and made the class laugh when, on his first day in the U.S., he asked a classmate to borrow a rubber (read: eraser).

7:30 pm – They start to call the names of all of the 381 students graduating with the nephew’s class. I’m wondering if they’ll make it through this mammoth list before midnight or not, and the folks in front of us are still chit-chatting away.

8:15 pm – Despite chitty and chatty in front of us, we’ve heard nephew’s name and we are now standing, hollering, and cat-calling just to make sure that he knows we are present and proud of him. I’m pretty sure he’s clear on it. His face is a little red and the announcer has had to pause before he can read the next name. At least nephew won’t forget we were here. Hee hee.

8:30 pm – The announcer pauses and tells the entire crowd that he’d like to take just a moment to recognize the parent of one of the students. He goes on to explain that this particular student’s father is on his third tour in Iraq and, while he couldn’t be here to see his son graduate in person, the school has arranged for him to be here live via satellite. The JumboTron suddenly becomes everyone’s focal point and the entire stadium rises to its feet, the roar of clapping so intense I can feel it in my feet. We had tears while we watched the nephew get his diploma and now we have more tears for the kid standing at the front of the stadium, connecting with his Dad who couldn’t be here to see him graduate in person. What an awesome moment!

8:35 pm – Everyone is finally silent and the kid begins speaking to his father. I’m guessing it was meant to be a private conversation because we can’t hear a word of it, but the whole place is quietly respectful as they have their minute together. I’m hoping that schools across the nation are making this happen for the kids who are without Mom or Dad right now, and for Mom or Dad who have sacrificed this moment to serve our country.

8:36 pm – The kid and his Dad have had their moment to talk (although I’m sure they wanted to talk more) and the whole place erupts with applause again. I hope nephew remembers this moment as starkly as I will.

9:30 pm – Back to sister-in-law’s we go for a big bonfire and some family bonding. It’s been such an amazing weekend. Nephew is off to the Senior Chem-Free Afterparty (good call on the school’s part) and we’re all headed for bed shortly. I think about how short the time is between this night and the night we’ll be watching the eldest daughter walk across a stage like that. It seems like yesterday that nephew was just a little guy. Where does the time go?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2007 10:42 am

    Okay you got me on the Jumbo tron part, and I choked back a little vicarious tear of my own. We saw P – 3 this weekend, and I still feel like swinging from a rope slinging a sword. I “felt” the swirling water part in my seat. Also, the “No outside food or drink” – well, that’s really just more of a guideline….I managed to stuff a bag of Smart Food popcorn in my bag along with twizzlers and whoppers! Parlay?

  2. June 4, 2007 2:13 pm

    I thought P3 was fantastic — I thought it was better than P2. And, did you happen to stay for the after credit clip? Ohhhhh, if not, check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nquTesXRc1w

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