My half brother (my much younger half brother) graduated from high school a couple weekends ago. And since my dad's family is really big on graduations, off we went to Ohio to celebrate!
One of the many benefits of being out of the workforce is that I can take extended weekend trips. So Bates and I headed up to Ohio on Wednesday and Jonathan met us on Friday (then we all flew home together on Sunday).
I don't want to dwell too much on the plane ride, except to say it wasn't the easiest moment of my parenting. It was fine, overall. But it's just hard to keep a super active, super curious child contained for 1.5 hours. On the way up, the very kind gate agent moved me to a seat with an empty one next to it, which was great because he could sit in his own seat when he wanted to. Anyway, a cold, well-earned beer was ready for me when we got off the plane.
Overall the weekend was nice. They had gorgeous Ohio early-summer weather, with cool breezes and cool nights. My aunt and cousin came in town (in addition to some of my step-mom's family), so it was a nice little family get together. I was concerned leading up to the trip that having Bates with me would make us change our plans a lot (and thus make me feel bad we couldn't do all the stuff we wanted to do). But everything ended up a-ok on that end. We didn't really go out to eat like we usually do, but it was no big deal and we just enjoyed being out on the patio at night.
The graduation was fine - the usual "you have your whole life ahead of you, you can achieve so much" speeches. And then there was a swanky party that night celebrating my half brother and three of his friends. (My dad and step mom incessantly complained about how the party "got out of control" by the moms who were planning it - that is, a bartender, catering, a tent, 4 cakes, etc. - but as a guest at the party, I was on board with the excess!)
Side note about graduations: isn't sort of crazy how when you're the one graduating, it feels so monumental. The speeches are so empowering and inspiring. But to everyone else (except maybe your parents), it just seems like another life event to tick off? I guess that's a cynical way to look at life, but I couldn't help wondering when I was sitting there how many of the kids in that room would actually "follow their dreams" and how many would just go to college, graduate, take a job they are offered, and get into the same cycle of monotony the majority of the adult world is in.
Anyway, our trip was good. Bates' favorite part, hands down, was my dad's dog. It's one of those fluffy Bichon Frises and Bates followed him around all weekend saying, "dog dog." At home he had never been that into Hank (I think because Hank is so big), but when he was around this little 20 pound dog, he had never been happier. And actually, when we got home, his interest in Hank did seem to spike a little (for better or for worse from Hank's perspective).
Bates enjoyed practicing his walking on the carpet in my dad's house and enjoyed seeing all the people he doesn't usually see. He's such a good baby - so friendly and adaptable to all situations - that the trip was pretty easy. And the time change actually worked to our advantage because we kept him on his normal time (so he went to bed at 8:30 and then slept until 7ish).
Here are all our pictures from the trip.... Oh wait, we took none. Zero. I'm so bad at taking pictures and I MUST. GET. BETTER.