In just a few days, my family will celebrate the first of hopefully many graduations. My oldest is graduating from 8th grade. My kids attend a K-8 school, so on one hand, it’s been a long nine years. On the other hand, wasn’t it just yesterday that I dropped off mah baybee on that first terrifying day of kindergarten? (Where he incidentally got punched in the face. On the first day. I’m not sure which of us had a bigger nervous breakdown that afternoon.) We’ve come a long way since then!

I can’t believe this moment is finally upon us. I’m proud of my boy. He’s worked hard and done well in elementary/middle school. He’s ready for the challenges of high school.

Oh, and I’m proud of me too because I mastered K-8!

While the graduation ceremony will celebrate the achievements of the graduates (and rightfully so, I suppose), I thought I’d take a moment here to celebrate my own achievements from these past nine years. You parents of fellow graduates, feel free to join right in! We’ve worked hard and we deserve a second or two to bask in the limelight.

I learned about reading readiness, how to add and subtract with a number line (instead of those old-fashioned fingers that I used back in the day), and that borrowing is now called “regrouping.” I helped with dioramas and brochures. We slogged through Mark Twain and Shakespeare. I edited and bibliographed, kept 6 kids together in a museum and survived bus rides over DC potholes.

I’ve bought and wrapped approximately 30 teacher gifts. I’ve filled out thousands of forms and packed hundreds of lunches. He had a clean uniform on his body every day and his completed homework in his backpack every morning. (Except that one life cycle poster. That was totally my fault.) I said, “Sit down and do your homework!” so many times that my tongue should have fallen off. There were times I wished I was one of those mothers who actually does her kids homework for them because that would have been SO MUCH EASIER than getting him to do it himself. But I resisted!

I’ve bought wrapping paper and chocolate, raffle tickets and auction items. I’ve attended parent-teacher conferences, PTA meetings, awards assemblies, and class parties. I’ve sent in tissues, glue sticks, hand sanitizer and superballs.

And since probably no one else will say it, “Way to go me! I don’t know how you did it all! You must be exhausted. Sit down, put up your feet and pour yourself a giant glass of wine. He couldn’t have done it without you!”

As I look ahead, I have no idea what being the mother of a high schooler is like. I’m going to have to learn a whole new craft. There are scary things in these next four years: corsages, tuxedos, driver’s ed, SATs, college applications. I’m hoping that at least (please, God) there are no more dioramas.