Congrats McClain Men

So, while this was probably a pretty boring post, with not much to say, it all has to be said. I am madly in love with my family, of whom I am intensely proud.

This week has been busy. First of all, my son reminded me (and Bryon) that we are, indeed, getting older, by graduating from elementary school and “rising” to middle school. At least, that’s what they call it, these days. He’s now a “rising” seventh grader. My infant, tiny baby is now a middle schooler. I’m not sure when, and how that happened, but somehow my baby is now a pubescent mess most of the time. Sometimes, in fact a lot of the time, his sweet self still shines through. But, there’s a fair amount of the time that his hormonal self is on full display.


Nonetheless, he rose to seventh grade this week. We sat in a crowded gym, because there were something like a million sixth grade classes. They had to do two graduation ceremonies, divided by alphabet, because there were just so darn many sixth graders to rise. It was very well organized, and efficient. Forty-five minutes of very quick name-reading, organized clapping, and absolutely no hugging of your student and no contact. They were shuffled in and out without so much as a wave to their parents. The number of disappointed grandparents with bouquets and balloons that went undelivered was heartbreaking to see.


Best pic I could get of my boy graduating. That’s him in the yellow shirt!

Best pic I could get of my boy graduating. That’s him in the yellow shirt!

I do have to pause here to point out that, in Virginia, they give out an award that is vaguely labeled the D.A.R. Award for Good Citizenship. It seemed obvious to everyone there that it went to a girl, automatically. So, I was immediately interested in what the hell this award was. I had to google. Only in the south do we give out awards called Daughters of the American Revolution, apparently. The DAR is clearly an “inclusive” organization these days, but…hmmm….the past.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention just how proud I was of my little munchkin though. He’s had a rough year. The principal of his school made a point of mentioning how many students had been with his school since kindergarten, as if that was some kind of accomplishment, the sense of community at the school. I’m not sure how it’s an accomplishment to, what, not move? A bigger accomplishment, in my book, is a kid like Collin, who has been to more schools in his short lifetime, than most kids will ever go to. He started two new schools last year alone. And, he did it cool as a cucumber, and managed to transition just fine. That’s my amazing boy. Military kids are incredible. They have to adjust to new surroundings all the time, and they have to do it over and over again. They are a tough breed, and Collin is just as strong as the rest of them.  


Still, no matter how hard he struggled with adjustment this year, and with math, because he skipped a grade, he kept pushing and he persevered. He not only passed, he did well. He made friends, and he worked hard. He performed in the solo ensemble competition with his flute, and he did well during his private lessons, even though he complained about them copiously. He even got a medal at solo ensemble! And, he won the Presidential Award for Academic achievement based both on his grades, and his test scores this year. And, to top it all off, he won student of the month, the last week of school. Needless to say, I have been proud as punch of my baby these past few weeks. Well, I’ve been prouder than usual.  


If this isn’t all enough, Bryon graduated from the Eisenhower school this week. In fact, he graduated the day after Collin did. It’s been a busy week, I’m telling you. Lots of events this week. If it wasn’t an award ceremony, it was a graduation, for both of them. We’ve been running around a bit, this week! And, it’s all been worth it, to watch my boys be honored in the way they deserve.


Bryon is the humblest man I’ve ever met. He refuses to believe that he’ll be honored with any distinction, regardless of how hard he’s worked, or how obviously deserving he appears to be. Based on his grades in the program he was in, it was pretty clear he was going to be a distinguished graduate, an honor that goes to the top 10% of the class. He kept saying, “but I have an A-.”


Of course, he was honored as a distinguished graduate. Not only that, was named the distinguished graduate of the entire class. This means that he was named the top graduate of the entire class. That’s my husband, folks. The best. I already knew it, but now everyone acknowledged it…again. I say again, because he seems to get awards like this a lot.


Bryon’s graduation ceremony was nearly rained out, so he insisted that I stay home. It turned out to be just muggy and humid. It was held in a tent, where it was sweltering and miserable. I got to watch Bryon walk across the stage from the comfort of my couch, in my jammies, via a live webcast. It was lovely. I truly wanted to go, but when he came home drenched with sweat, I’m glad he insisted that I stay home. It sounded like a terribly uncomfortable experience, especially since the run time was well over two hours, in smaller-than-normal folding chairs and a tent that trapped the humidity.


Meanwhile, I’m doing nothing quite as impressive as my men, except waiting for my surgery on Monday, and running errands. To be honest, I feel pretty accomplished when I get through a whole week, getting dressed every day, running all my errands without help, and making all my appointments on my own. I know that sounds like nothing compared to my son and husband, but it’s a big deal to me these days. However, I did get myself all set up to start my Harvard class this week. I am all registered, and I got my book in the mail. I start on June 25th. So, I’m ready to both have my leg broken, and to have my academic ass kicked, both starting in the same week. That’s something, I guess. Right?

My boys playing a card game that my son made up. It’s a Star Wars card game that Collin invented and drew, himself.

My boys playing a card game that my son made up. It’s a Star Wars card game that Collin invented and drew, himself.