Dave and some graduating friends lucked out and processed into good seats up front, but we could see them and waved back and forth all through it. The speaker was a TV star who'd graduated from IC (David Bore-eanatz I think), and the other speakers kept up the same level of "excitement." Good thing none of them had anything coherent to say, since that would have just detracted from the occasion. We absolutely loved it, and on this I'm not kidding!!!
This was a unique experience for me, and I'm still struggling to encapsulate it. Perhaps others who've watched their kids graduate college share the same feelings. There was the intense background sense of happiness I felt at his high school graduation, but there was also a sense of relief that he'd made it so far, a sense of handing over the reins, and a sense of feeling right with the universe. We'd kept our noses to the grindstone (our son more than us, and this definitely added to the significance), and we'd come out in an over-the-rainbow place that we always felt existed but we knew wouldn't be real until we got there.
OK, enough with the heaviness of it ... it was actually a very light day and we all were floating, not mired in meanings. After the ceremony we gathered by the fountains in Dillingham for a school reception and some pictures, and then drove back and forth across town endlessly as we all changed clothes and settled.
Then we took off up to Lansing for an incredible party with a lot of drinking and hugging.