I have nine grandchildren, ranging from two in college to two in diapers. And yes this includes the one who plays with angels. I love them all. My oldest was graduating college this month so when I was asked if I was going to her graduation I said “Of course!”

What my brain failed to reason was that she was not doing it here in town. The thought of being in the car for over three hours, sitting through graduation and then back in the car for three more hours had me a bit edgy. Factor in that I still had to deal with an hour and half drive to (and from) the airport next month and a two and a half hour drive to (and from) the Adirondacks directly afterward and you can imagine the pressure I was feeling. (Tailbone pressure)

Now add to this that my second grandchild would be graduating from the same college next year and I would have to deal with the drive yet again, it’s no wonder at all that I went into panic mode by the time we hit the thruway. 

It didn’t help that the morning had started off with a bang. We had to be in my daughter’s driveway no later than 6 a.m. so I had set alarms on both of our iPads and a backup just in case those two didn’t go off. Remember, I have trust issues. 

I went to bed early — a big mistake because I woke up a half hour later all refreshed and ready to go. I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning, finally dreaming about my alarm going off to the tunes of Doris Day (may she rest in peace). Next thing I know I’m being rudely awakened by my husband declaring, “None of the alarms went off and we have only 45 minutes to get ready!” 

I could barely recall my name or why I was even up this early, but still managed to check my iPad. Aha, there was a reason the alarms didn’t go off — because it wasn’t five o’clock yet. The hubby had been looking at a clock that had stopped after a recent power outage. He had reset it but since he hadn’t known what time it really was he guessed at it. 

So there I was in the car with a stress headache and a panic attack dancing in the background. Still, I began to enjoy the ride. Trying to keep up with our son-in-law as he darted in and out of traffic was like being in a real life car chase, which the hubby was eerily up to. 

The graduation ceremony went on forever. The various speakers and hoopla carried on for an hour and a half, causing me to dip into the crackers I had stashed in my purse for just such an emergency. My daughters tried to slap them out of my hands, my mouth, and my purse so I gave it up and figured I’d let them deal with me when I’m “hangry.” 

The handing out of the diploma’s — at least a thousand of them — went smooth as silk and was done in 20 minutes! The secret was that they worked from two sides, with two announcers — who got the names right because the students handed them a slip of paper with their name on it. And they were handed an empty diploma cover so as not to get anyone mixed up. The real deal would be mailed out to the graduates. 

Now I was ready to eat! But for some crazy reason they all wanted to do a photo shoot. A couple in front of this, a few in front of that until finally they said they were heading to Tim Horton’s — by cutting across campus. When we finally got there I started looking at the menu, only to find out my granddaughter had just come to say goodbye to friends working there. She continued to lead the parade to other places she spent time at and I managed to snag a cookie and a bag of pretzels to ward off the devil in me. 

We finally stopped at an Arby’s, where by now it was way too close to our 4:15 dinner reservation so I had to settle for a mere ham and cheese slider. We then went to help pack up both grandkids possessions because they were coming home. By the time we were done packing there wasn’t room to even fart — in either vehicle.

Partway home we pulled off the thruway and headed for a hard to find Italian restaurant with food to die for! So glad I didn’t miss that. It also broke up the long drive home so here I sit, safe and sound, and well-rounded from the college experience. (Or maybe it’s from the cheese ravioli and giant meatball I had.)

debbiehough@hotmail.com

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