Friday, June 19, 2009

At Last....

Graduation, last night. My sweet son, my
chef-to-be who has overcome obstacle
after obstacle in his 23 years, my Certified Culinarian
and possessor of Associate of Applied Science Degree
Restaurant and Food Service Production
Catering and Banquet Operations.
Phew. That was a mouthful.

There was no rarified air in the auditorium
at South Seattle Community College: this was
a ceremony celebrating the working classes, the
newly immigrated, the single moms, those students
who attained their transfer degrees at community
college prices before plunking down the Big Bucks
at a university. I can't remember exactly how many
varying languages were being spoken around me,
only that there were many. It was a veritable
United Nations of students and their families,
an accurate representation, I believe, of the world
we inhabit.

And so much joy! Of course I cried when the band
(well, okay, it was recorded) played Pomp & Circumstance:
I have my sentimental moments.
The address by the Student Body President
included the 1997 piece by Chicago newspaper columnist
Mary Schmich -- most of us have heard this
ad nauseum, but hearing it again after many
years, well, was just about perfect.
And listening to it sitting beside Nelson,
with Reilly in front of us capped-and-gowned
& awaiting his diploma, couldn't have been better,
especially these lines:

Get to know your parents. You never know when
they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings.
They're your best link to your past and the people
most likely to stick with you in the future.

Afterwards, we had a late dinner at Tamarind Tree,
a Vietnamese restaurant (with its 23-page menu!)
in the International District. I can't remember
when I had more fun, or when I was more in
my element -- dining out with two of my biggest
fans, with two of my favorite people on the planet,
on one of the happiest evenings of my life.


  1. This night deserves Seven Courses of Beef! Congratulations to Reilly!

  2. Emily -- Nelson wanted to order this!
    (We opted for a more varied menu.)

  3. Em -- Have you ever tried their black sesame seed ice cream?

  4. A happy time for you all. Great news and congrats to your son Reilly. From another Mother Hen the other side of the world!

  5. OMG, I have. I think I had an icecream sampler there once... in addition to the reeeeally delicious Black Sesame and Ginger flavors, I remember something about a less than delicious Durian (probably my lack of sophistication!)

  6. Thank-you, Alaine!

    Emily, from a dictionary definition of durian: "Despite its fetid smell, it is highly acclaimed for its flavor." Hmm.

  7. Congrats to you & yours-- a really nice write-up; your joy is palpable in the words.

  8. SOOO sweet, congratulations, mom of boy/young man! Great shot of R!

  9. Congratulations to your lovely son. What a splendid, memorable night.

  10. What a momentous occasion! Good for Reilly! He will always have a job 'cause we ALL gotta eat!

  11. Congratulations to you and Reilly! He is an excellent cook, and a caring and thoughtful young have every reason to cry and feel so very proud!

  12. Congratulations to Reilly on a job well done! What a milestone for the whole family.

    May he always have time to cook in your kitchen.

  13. WOW! Know the Joy - congratulations to all - graduate and family! Happy for you and happy for all the future dishes to be served by none other than..."Certified Culinarian and possessor of Associate of Applied Science Degree in Restaurant and Food Service Production & Catering and Banquet Operations."

    Ready to party!!!

  14. Stopped by - wishing you this Sunday's best to you and yours!

  15. I showed my son all these comments tonight, from across the globe. He was astounded, as I am. Thank-you, everyone, for your good wishes!