So, the Only-begotten and Infinitely-beloved Daughter graduated from 9th grade. As a first step all 9th-graders in the school and their teachers had a dinner and a ball earlier this week. Parents were requested to help as bouncers and of course I responded, as always when Duty calls.
But, as I was leaving the office, the phone rang and I got stuck for an hour, helping a computer illiterate (but at least properly contrite) user somewhere several time zones away troubleshoot an installation of the company's software. So, as I arrived at the site, the dance had already begun. First, though, I had to make my way through the Breathalyzer-equipped squad of parents at the door. I was recognised and let into the building.
In the temporary headquarters I was given the plans for the evening and then I went out to reconnaitre the site. I noted with some consternation that the songs the DJ was playing were much the same as were popular when I was their age. A mother confirmed that there is an 80s revival underway—her son had expressed surprise that she was so into modern music that she knew the words to his favourite songs…
All the boys were very conservatively dressed in suits and ties (except for the one rebellious one dressed like Alexander De Large). The girls wore equally conservative dresses, but had by then given up on their high-heeled shoes and almost to a woman moved around barefoot.
The Daughter, dressed in a charming self-made combination of black tulle and latex, and her posse graciously came to greet me but then flitted away for other entertainment and I went on perimeter patrol. All was well and the returning long-distance reconnaisance platoon had nothing to report.
Groups of party-goers were starting to leave around 22:00, some in taxis, but at least one group of girls in brightly-coloured dresses, their shoes in their hands, sat at the tram stop like a lineup of exotic birds.
Eventually the Daughter and her friends also left for homes or other more interesting places. I stayed on a while longer, but as the number of parents soon outnumbered the dwindling number of still-dancing children, I was eventually dismissed.
And today was the graduation ceremony proper.
It started with the school choir leading the assembly in ”Den blomstertid nu kommer ”, which surely must be blasphemy, obviously it should be sung last.
Prizes were handed out.
As deservedly as could be wished for the Daughter received the prize for best results in Swedish and I whooped loudly from my balcony perch. The headmistress fumbled a bit with the words and awarded prizes for “fine results in spite of their hard work” to a couple of pupils. There was much rejoicing among the comrades of those who received prizes.
The choir came on stage again and a girl sung “Fields of Gold”, rather choked with emotion, and several girls, both in the audience and the choir itself, made weird flapping motions with their hands that I eventually deduced were attempts to dry their eyes without mussing up their makeup. I at my first row seating just had to lean forward and no-one could see the state of my eyes.
More songs, but eventually the classes withdrew to their home rooms for the handing out of grades (the Daughter points out she got even better grades than her brother, I am insanely proud), saying of goodbyes etc. The farewells grew increasingly protracted and eventually the Daughter sent the family off while she remained with her friends for yet a while.