The celebrating began with Grace's LDS Seminary Graduation, last Sunday night, signifying her completion of four years of attendance in Seminary, as well as reading the Standard Works...the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. That's a huge accomplishment of which we are most proud!
We enjoyed shopping for new clothes for graduation and then getting her graduation photos taken. I loved doing that! Another post!
Grace's senior year has been challenging in several ways. Socially, she's had a rough time. Her friends were seniors last year, so this year, she was sort of left on her own. She is friendly, but she is very shy. So, this year, she's not really had a "Best Friend" at her school, just lots of "acquaintances". Bella was very challenging because, although she was in the Presidency, there were Juniors with "strong" personalities who came in and ruled the house. Grace, being Grace, just stepped back and let them do their thing. She even opted to not go on the big trip to San Francisco over Spring Break, because she knew that she would just feel "awkward". She has done a little dating, but not much. So, it's been hard. She was asked to Senior Prom by a boy who then said, "Never mind, I'm asking someone else." and THEN was turned down by the other girl, so he came back to Grace and said, "Yeh, let's go." At that point, Grace said, NOT!!! As I say, she's had a rough senior year. Doug and I have shed our own tears watching her get hurt. It's been so hard for my red personality to not call a few parents, especially "prom boy" and tell his dad, "You are doing such a wonderful job of raising a jerk!" But, I refrained.
SO. Suffice it to say, we are extremely proud of Grace for holding her head high, suffering through this last year and hanging in there with dignity and grace. I've counted the days until she could toss that hat into the air and be done with high school and move on into a new world!
Grace's last time walking into the High School as a student!
Sadly, her last week was probably one of the hardest. On yearbook day, her last day of school, Grace was informed that she still owed fees, which she did NOT. There was a fee for a $4.01 book for a class that she'd taken her sophomore year, but a book that she'd never even heard of, that was mistakenly added to her list. I spent four hours calling the school, after getting a text from her telling me that they wouldn't give her her yearbook until this fee was paid. I called and called the school getting voice messages because everyone was too busy checking out the students to answer the phones.
Grace spent hours in lines trying to work things out and it was 2 in the afternoon before I could get to the school in person and clarify that this was a mistake on their part. The finance lady apologized and said that yes, she'd goofed up. I was not amused and I made that clear, firmly but kindly, as she handed Grace her yearbook at 2:15, after every other Senior in the school had already left hours before, that her mistake meant Grace how has a yearbook without one single signature and no one left there to sign it. The woman's response, "Well, she can take it to Lagoon tomorrow." Seriously!?, because everyone wants to carry a yearbook around an amusement/waterpark all day long. AND GRACE WASNT EVEN GOING TO LAGOON! Nope, we were not happy. As a matter of fact, I think I cried for her more than she cried herself. We walked out of the school, both of us in tears, and she said, "Well, this day pretty much sums up my senior year. It sucked." AMEN!
It was at that point that Zeej shared that, while I was talking to the finance secretary, the other finance secretary-in-training, sat there mocking me with little facial gestures, repeating every word I was saying, with "Nee-nee-neee-nee-neee" voice and rolling her eyes. She looked up and saw Zee standing there and said, "May I help you with something?" not realizing that Zee was my daughter. Zeej gave her a crusty glare and said, "SERIOUSLY????" and walked around to where I was talking with the other secretary and Grace was finally getting her yearbook. She was livid and shocked to see an adult acting like a five year old. Zee's RED personality was showing! "Seriously, Mom! What adult acts like that!!! IN FRONT OF STUDENTS!!?!?!?!?" She continued, "ANNNNNND she didn't even blend her eyeshadow!!!! I mean, Seriously!!!!" This was almost comic relief to the tears that Grace and I were sharing, as we walked to the car.
We hopped in the car, stopped at Sonic for Happy Hour and as we drove past the theater, I pulled in and said, "Let's drown our sorrows and calm our souls with popcorn!" We bought tickets and sat down in the middle of previews to watch Everything, Everything. Both girls have just read the book and they were thrilled to see it together. I noticed Grace tearing up a few times that night, when the yearbook came up. SO frustrating!
On Wednesday, Lagoon Day for the Seniors, Grace opted not to go and to spend the day with me. Liza and the girls had arrived for graduation, but I'd already told her to make plans with a friend so that I could spend the day with Grace. We woke up and raced out the door for pedicures. Grace got glow-in-the-dark mint green toes (her favorite anything is MINT!) and then we raced to grab lunch before going to see Pirates of the Carribean. We loved the movie (Zee and I saw it opening morning, so it was my second time and I loved it better this time!) then we went shopping for shoes and a few other things and made an afternoon Sonic Run before coming back home. When we had family prayer that night, Grace said that it had been a perfect day. She was glad that she chose "us" over Lagoon. A happy mom moment for me!
It really was a rough ending for Grace's high school senior year, but we made the best of it. She is really and truly so glad to be done! Grace started attending the YSA ward a bit ago and is really enjoying it and the opportunity to make some new friends that are older and a bit more mature.
Grace has felt a bit overwhelmed about graduating. She's so not ready, yet she is so done. She isn't ready because she isn't sure what she wants to do with her life yet. She's not registering for college yet because she's considering an LDS Mission. We are sooooo not pushing her. Missions are HARD! And I, personally, think missions are even harder for girls! Just sayin'. We have talked about it and with all that we have on our summer schedule, we have decided that she isn't going to have to make any decisions till the end of summer. I don't even want the girls to work this summer. So, we will spend our summer hosting bridal showers, decorating for a wedding, planning YW Girls Camp and making memories. Fall will be soon enough for jobs and decisions and getting serious about life. We want her to take some time to make her own decisions. In the meantime, we will enjoy our time together!