This little family of mine has had some major events recently. Two graduations at opposite ends of the education system.
My youngest son who is five graduated from nursery a week ago on Friday! Complete with mortar board and certificate they had a great time! With lots of party games, balloons and general mayhem! It was a wonderful to see my little guy growing up and now ready for his first year of primary starting in August.
The second graduation was on Wednesday the 4th of July in Aberdeen. This one was a whole lot more serious, less games and balloons more pomp and ceremony! My eldest son Ben who is 22 years old this month graduated with a degree in Language & Linguistics. Four years of hard work and study finally realised! Not only did he achieve his degree but he worked his way through University to support himself financially! To say Im proud of him is an understatement!
We travelled up to Aberdeen on the Wednesday, its around 200 hundred miles or so, and stayed in a very lovely hotel. It was more than I could afford but I wanted this trip to be special for Ben, something he would remember. We had a good drive up and arrived at the Ardoe Country House Hotel mid afternoon. Set in its own country estate with spa, swimming pool and tennis courts, I could’ve stayed for a week!
I haven’t travelled much since I was diagnosed with IC so I was a little apprehensive but I managed to cope with its challenges throughout the trip. Staying in a hotel is a real novelty for my youngest son who proceeded to charm and amuse hotel staff and guests alike! Of course going to sleep even when exhausted was a tall order, he didn’t give in to the tiredness until we were all in bed and lights off around 11pm.
The following morning we had to be at the University early to collect robes and have photographs taken. Having ones photos taken that early in the morning is not for the faint hearted! I fear I may look rather old and haggard (photos have not arrived yet) However seeing my first born standing there in his robes and mortar board made me burst with pride. With his little brother gazing up at him in complete awe just made my heart melt.
Photos done, we proceeded over to the great hall. My youngest had his ipod to keep him amused during the ceremony but we did have to be seated quite some time before it actually started. As the graduates filed in I could see Ben walking to his seat, tall and proud. After all the initial introductions the chancellor lead the prayer. Cue mini melt down from youngest! Just when it all went quiet he changed games to the running dinosaur which had a very catchy theme tune. Would he turn it down? Nope! When a very pompous grumpy man turned around making obviously disapproving gestures I felt mortified. For fear of a total tantrum I did my best to reason with him, to no avail.
After 15 minutes of very bad behaviour he clamed down ( little shit!) and managed to just about see through the rest of the ceremony without further upset.
Near the end of the degree presentations it was time for Ben to receive his, until this point I had kept myself together pretty well but as soon as he made his way to the stage I felt the tears come. Tears of joy, pride and love for my son who was the first in our extended family to attend University. I quickly picked up my phone to distract myself and recorded this amazing moment in mine and my sons life.
As we (the families) were leaving the great hall, after the graduates, a very kind couple came over and said to my youngest what a good boy he was sitting through the ceremony. I said how I felt others were disgusted that Id brought my sons little brother and that he had disrupted their enjoyment. They said on the contrary and that he did really well! I felt so much better and started to relax a little.
Outside the sun was shining and we enjoyed the atmosphere, watching everyone milling around, with some wearing amazing traditional dress of students families who were of African origin. So many different cultures, it truly was a great day!
Back at our hotel we packed and checked out, if only I could afford to stay another night. Youngest stated he wanted to stay for a 100 days!! The drive home was long, I was very tired but we arrived safely and negotiated Glasgow rush hour to get back to Ayrshire around 6pm.
Two days later I’m still on a high. The trip used up this years holiday money but it was worth it. Maybe we will have a holiday next year. x