When Commencement Commences: Celebrating the Graduate

This month both of my children will be graduating–one from elementary school and one from middle school–and entering a new phase. It’s an exciting time that comes with anticipation, reflection and even a bit of sadness.
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Celebration Ideas For Entering Womanhood

So it’s been a while since my last post, I know. But this one is a doosey I can assure you and may explain my absence in part… “Entering Womanhood” means different things to different people and in different cultures and I will spare you the gory details of what it means in mine but suffice it to say it’s one to be celebrated. I meant to write this earlier in the weekend but I kept crying every time I started.

However this moment is “checked off”–as a social occasion, a rite of passage, or a biological one–it’s bound to be emotional and one you don’t want to forget. So remember the day, month and year and do something special together. The idea is to do something experiential, open the lines of communication and begin a new dialogue that hopefully will continue as she–and you–embark on this new period (pardon the pun) of her life together. Most importantly she will come away knowing she can come to you and that you’re there for her no matter what. As my husband and I say to each other: All in, as is. In my experience, that’s what love is, any way you slice it.

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A Birthday (Crab) Bash

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When I was a kid, my father began a very cool tradition for my birthday. I’m a July baby, which made me a Cancer–the sign associated with the crab–so every year we would go to a restaurant, called Sidewalkers, where they served a Maryland-style crab-bash. If you don’t know what a Maryland-style crab-bash is, you’re missing out. Basically you sit at a table covered with brown paper, then they dump a whole bunch of seasoned crabs in the center of a table (bibs are recommended). You are armed with a mallet, cracker and small fork and then you go at it.

The last time I celebrated my birthday in this way was 1997. It was the last time my Dad was alive for my birthday. I was 22. The morning after that celebration–about twelve hours later–he had a seizure caused by a brain tumor that he didn’t know he had and he passed away just eleven weeks later. It was the last celebration I had with him before everything changed and was the end of my birthday crab-bash tradition. That was fifteen years ago.

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