National Junior Honor Society....how many ways could I butcher this night?
Three years ago, Cody was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society at Desert High Middle School. Kim could not have been prouder. She made sure he had a new outfit for the ceremony. Shined shoes, fresh haircut, etc. And, of course, she wept tears of joy during the candle lighting and certificate presentation, cheering robustly as Cody approached the podium to accept his certificate...
...I should have taken notes. Paid a little closer attention.
When Autumn got her invite for the NJHS, I was so very proud of her. She was so excited....but expressed reservations. Cody had reservations too. Like, will my friends think that I am a nerd for being in this club? Autumn, well, she was worried that it might inconvenience me to have to arrange for rides for her on meeting days and for community service projects.
She let me know the date of her induction. The time. And has reminded me over the last couple of weeks. I made sure to change my work schedule so that I would have enough time to get her from school and home to change.
I like to use the excuse that the stress of getting out of work on time, traversing the construction riddled I-10 and making sure Cody and Tonio were taken care of, and fed, etc. as to why it never crossed my mind to pick up Autumn a new outfit.
Cody ended up taking the bus. Autumn got a ride back to Cottonwood, as I happened to get stuck behind 4 lanes of people doing exactly the speed limit. 4 lanes. Aren't the left ones supposed to be 'passing' lanes? Can you pass anyone if everyone is doing exactly the speed limit? Tonio stayed at his Junior Optimist Club meeting working on a film project with Ms. Curtis that they will unveil at the movie theater 'The Loft' this Saturday morning.
We hurried home and as I am making everyone dinner, I suddenly remembered.
"Hey Aut? What are you planning to wear tonight?"
There was not moments hesitation. "My 6th grade graduation outfit that you bought me."
Well, at least I had remembered then to buy her something nice to wear!
"Nice. Uh, does it still fit you?"
"Yes! I tried it on." My efficient 'Lil Kim'!
Ok, Autumn had me covered an I served them pasta with marinara sauce that I had whipped up over the weekend. For something completely different.
Now to be there on time! Andrea picked up Tonio, who, even though he loves his sister very much, would rather head down to Peter Piper Pizza for Kim and Roshan's son, Micah's, 4th birthday party...Autumn was worried...
"Dad? What time will we leave?"
"Ok. I have to be there at 5:45..."
Believe it or not, Autumn did not get that from Kim (although she did get her smarts fromKim!). Kim was the queen of being about 15 minutes late - fashionably late - everywhere she went. I know at some point, I told you, about how she nearly got fired from her job at Alphagraphics back in Pa. because she could not be on time. Even when she illegally parked on a bridge across the street from where she worked and just 8 blocks from where we lived! "I know I got a ticket, but at least I didn't lose my job." she told me later. Her boss actually change her scheduled start time from 8:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. to avoid having to fire her.
I told him later, that his downfall was telling Kim that he did this, for she could not make it in at this time either!
So we left at 5:35...just in case! And I did get a great seat, directly in front of Aut...but, to my growing horror, proud parents were filing in carrying bouquets of flowers for their daughters to present to them afterwards. Flowers? Dammit. I didn't think of that!! And, the majority of the young ladies were wearing dresses - I never thought to ask Autumn if she had a dress or would like to get one for this event.
But, she did look beautiful...just like her Mama....
Throughout, Autumn searched me out, to make eye contact...that need to know that I was still there, a part of her special moment. The need to smile and make me smile back at her. I held it together and smiled back each time, being sure to pay attention.
Oops! At this moment, I am whooping wildy for Autumn, trying to be loud, to be sure that she could hear me yelling/cheering for her! So, when I attempted to take a photo...it came out blurry...
"Did you hear me Aut?" I asked her as we made a speedy exit to get to Micah's party. "Yes Dad." she giggled. And that giggle...radiated the Kim inside her...
Ms Vera, who oversees the NJHS reads off the children's names.
Mr. Mortensen, the principal at Desert Sky Middle School, waits his turn to speak. He came over and sat with me prior to the start of the program to talk. "How long do you think this will take?" I asked him, not remembering how long Cody's induction had lasted. I fall asleep pretty easily these days once I find myself sitting still. "I plan to talk for about 3 hours." he told me, straight faced. He graciously kept it to about 10 minutes and the whole thing lasted about a half hour.
Autumn bolted from her chair an hugged me.
"So proud of you Autumn!" I let her know as I returned her hug, at the same time moving toward the exit....
Another source of joy these guys give me - watching them take swim lessons! Now with Monsi, too!! Lupe helps get them there every Tuesday for me - I think they like lessons even more now that Monsi is taking them too. They are getting stronger with each set of lessons they complete...They haven't worked on diving much....love the belly flops!
Here's some from Cottonwood's Carnival a week ago or so....
Breanna and Autumn prepare to brave the jumping castle
Breanna, Bella, Autumn and Brinley in the castle!
Autumn and Breanna ride the train. Wish I had gotten a pic of the driver, who sported long, Rastafarian colored socks, a longish goatee, and was singing something unintelligible as we entrusted our children in his care....
Best buds. Monsi and Antonio proudly display their winnings from the cake walk!
Tonio has a nice part in the 4th grade musical that went on during the carnival.
It was about some kids who find their grandparents old trunk full of costumes. Curious, they ask and find out that their grandparents had starred on Broadway.
He never really let on that he had so many lines and a big part of this play. Humble. He told me he thought he might get to talk a little, but didn't really bring it up much. So I was blown away - and realized that I had not picked out his outfit for this play....!
He had a great time and was animated and entertaining!! I was pretty proud of this bambino, pulling off such a performance!!