Last week, due to some unexpected events in my sister's family, Todd and I were asked to escort my niece, Maddie, to an important event: her Kindergarten final program and graduation.
Maddie is my youngest niece, the one born just after I graduated from law school. So while I was representing my first client, having (and losing) my first trial, and switching sides of criminal law, she was learning to talk, walk and read.
Looking at it that way, the past six years have been much more eventful for her. (Although I did get married, and THAT's no small feat, people.) She's accomplished a lot. She's gone from being what Angelina Jolie would kindly refer to as a "blob" (although she was always a very cute blob) to being a spirited personality who out-danced me at my wedding and who can already out-lawyer me in an argument.
At her graduation, she performed her role (the star of "Jack and Jill") with grace and enthusiasm. Here she is, post-performance, posing with her diploma (Yes, it's upside down. Don't tell her.).
As you can see, she was quite pleased with herself. Pleased, that is, until Todd gave her a big Congratulations, and she realized that GRADUATING from Kindergarten meant she had to LEAVE Kindergarten and START first grade.
Come on, you would be shocked, too.
We assured her that she would someday be glad to have graduated from Kindergarten, since, without it, her resume would always be woefully inadequate. Then we offered to take her to Cracker Barrel, which was accepted.
While we were eating, the waitress asked me if it was okay for her to have some more to drink.
I blanked. I sort of looked around and finally said, "I don't care."
From the look on that waitress's face, I won the Worst Mother Ever Award. I hastily explained that I was not, actually, her mother, but her aunt, and an aunt who would be shortly returning her to her mother safely and soundly, although a bit hopped up on sweet tea. That waitress was relieved, let me tell you.
I ask you, how much sweet tea is too much for a six-year old? A girl's got to celebrate life's milestones, and the way I see it, at least I didn't give her a vodka martini, "up" and "very dirty."
'Cause that's how I celebrate.
So, anyway, Congratulations, Maddie! We're just waiting to see what you'll do next.