THE GLAD YOU ATE
My son graduated from high school last night, so anybody who bet against him, his sister included, should pay up.
For the last few years they've held high school graduations at the local sports arena, the same stadium where the NFL teams play.
What a cluster! Parking is impossible, flowers are okay but balloons are forbidden, it takes almost an hour for families to reunite with students once the damn thing is over, and spectators (including my ex-mother-in-law, who sat next to me) are forced to squint at their programs while watching the ceremony unfold on the Jumbotron.
We went through the whole thing with Sara four years ago, so we knew what to expect.
Five or six kids made speeches, the kind of speeches you make when you're 17 or 18 and your whole life is ahead of you.
There was a healthy mix of excitement, confidence, and fear but the speeches were just okay, not great. I expected a little more from the kid who got a free ride to Harvard, but who am I to judge? He's a good kid, he's done his time. Why make him jump through one last hoop?
When it came time to call names, the officials told students that if they wanted their middle names announced, they'd have to spell it out for them. I guess the paperwork only had room for middle initials.
Sam's middle name is Clayton, my ex-wife's maiden name, just like his sister, but when it came time to complete the paperwork, he changed the "Clayton" to "Capone" and that's what rang out over the loudspeaker.
My ex-mother-in-law leaned over to me and said, "I can't believe you gave him that horrible middle name" and I just shook my head and assured her it was a joke.
To be honest, I was a little impressed that Sammy knew who Al Capone was. Then I remembered he'd been watching Boardwalk Empire.
He's a good kid, my boy. I'm proud of him.