"My expectations aren't very high," my second daughter Julia said, as we maneuvered through the airport.
I nodded, trying to keep my own expectations in check. I put my arm around her. "I really appreciate you coming," I said.
Our oldest daughter was graduating from college, and she made it clear that she wanted her entire family there to celebrate with her. On one hand, it was a LOT to manage (and pay for). On the other hand, I loved that she's so connected.
As it turned out, Julia gave up a lot to be there. Her friends from college decided they'd head to Boston for a Red Sox game. (Julia LOVES anything that has to do with sports.) They headed back to campus in time for some formals, and the weather in CT was reportedly beautiful.
The weather in Michigan was NOT beautiful. In fact, during the 2 1/2 hour OUTSIDE ceremony, it snowed at one point. It was THAT cold.
"This makes me REALLY want to make the post-season tournament," Julia said as we huddled on the bleachers. "The game should be around Thanksgiving in the freezing cold, and Larkin definitely HAS to be there."
Even though I'd have to be there too at another freezing cold event, I had to laugh.
And then, there was another ceremony. At least it was inside, but after the first few graduates crossed the stage and said a few words, I realized those students were NOT representative of the class. EVERYONE was going to be saying a few words--some of them saying more than others.
"I'm so sorry," I mouthed to my younger three daughters, Julia included, when I did the math and realized how long we'd be sitting there listening to about a million thank-you's. (Okay, maybe just a thousand...) For another two hours, we sat and listened to emotional graduates.
By the next day, we were all mostly thawed, and Sunday's brunch was good food and a lot of laughs, but my hardest laugh was waiting to board the plane that would take us home.
"I had really low expectations," Julia said. "The amazing thing is it STILL fell short of them."
Yep, sometimes that happens. She had to admit though, that we had a lot to celebrate just being us! And, truth be told, Larkin really was SO happy we were there. And, I'm pretty sure that we will NEVER have a colder graduation!