my parents are doing some renovations on their home and in the midst of putting things in boxes, my mom stumbled upon an old photo album from about fifteen years ago. among its pages were snapshots (on film) from my 8th grade graduation. or “promotion” as it was more commonly known.
i remember preparing for the event very vividly. i was still in recovery from anorexia so i was quite the little peanut but mom really wanted me to feel special so we went to sophisticated lady at north county fair mall and i had free reign to pick my party dress. i chose a silk and taffeta lavender gown that we ended up getting altered to fit my tiny frame. but regardless of the fact that the dress probably weighed as much as me, i felt like the prettiest princess when i finally tried it on hours before the big event.
i think mom helped fashion my hair into an updo and i probably swiped a coat or two of black mascara on my eyelashes to make my eyes shine. you might not be able to tell from the picture but i actually still had braces at the time. i think i finally got that set (the second of two) off in august right before we took our freshman yearbook photos (hallelujah). and thankfully i had recently discovered eyebrow grooming.
i remember the first thing i focused on as i crossed the stage to accept my certificate of promotion was not falling and the second was ensuring that i paused long enough while shaking the principal’s hand so that mom could snap a photo (i was well-trained even at 13). and i remember posing for pictures with friends after the ceremony, right outside of the gym. gosh we thought we were so cool, finally escaping the monotony of middle school and entering the hallowed halls of high school.
i remember going to chart house for dinner that night with my best friend at the time, sarah. we ate roasted chicken and split a mud pie. not the wisest dietary combination, but we were celebrating. and also 13.
and as this photo reflects, what i also remember about this day was having my grandpa there to see me achieve another milestone. his little rose was becoming a big, bad high school freshman. look how happy he is. and how dapper, too!
anyway, i’m sure at some point over the course of the evening as mom was playing paparazzi i rolled my eyes and told her “enough” as i held up my hand to shield my face. i’m sure i had a typical teenage moment because i was hungry or tired or both. but then on a random tuesday she sends me a photo like this one and i’m so grateful for how often she made time stand still.
and on the same random tuesday i can pretend it’s 1999 again and i’m dressed up with my best guy celebrating 8th grade promotion at santa fe christian.3