I didn’t expect to cry.
But at the first strains of ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ I began to tear up. We’d thought of and talked about this day for so long. Unlike other states, Utahns don’t indulge in kindergarten graduation or 6th grade advancement or 8th grade promotion. We’re just too practical. There is simply this one big night after thirteen years of public education.
It had crept up on us so gradually, clicking through every milestone, that ordering the tassels and announcements felt normal. And yet, sitting before me in his cap in gown, playing in the orchestra was the undeniable evidence that my time with Ben at home was nearly over.
I’m not wringing my hands wondering: Have I taught him all he needs to know? Will he be OK? Ben is, most definitely, OK. I only worry about his too-opinionated political views. 😉
And today, just a few short hours after the caps flew into the air, we are at LDS Hospital where Ben is getting surgery.
Remember that trip to the emergency room last week? A few hours later Ben was diagnosed with a hernia It was especially fun for him when the docs asked, “So were you pumping iron? Playing ball?”
And Ben had to confess “I was practicing a mock drill team routine for the final assembly.” That’s my boy– the dancer.
The doc was able to literally push Ben’s intestines back where they belong and scheduled him for surgery today with the warning, “If you’re going to cough or sneeze be sure to hold yourself in.”
Mary and I got to accompany Ben this week on a delightful round of appointments as the doctor read us ‘The Hernia Book’ complete with charts and illustrations.
So here I wait. Ben was able to sign all his own medical forms; I’m only here to pay, listen and provide a ride home. And to worry just a little. Although this is a simple (albeit blushworthy) fix with modern medicine, it’s still disconcerting to see my son wheeled away on a gurney. As grown and capable as my boy has become, he also seems so fragile– I am profoundly aware of the mothers who lost their sons at 18, just at the edge of life.
I wait and I pray for the years and the decades to witness the man he will become.