The party is over, the cap is tossed (never to be found), the diploma's in hand, and here we are with a pack full of mental snapshots of all of it. I'm not sure it could have been better. All those years came down to this. A celebration, indeed.
People who care about our boy showed up to the party by the carload on a sunny afternoon. They slapped him on the back, high-fived him, hugged him. Then they grabbed a plate, filled it with simple food, and stood around chatting, laughing, eating.
With all the hoopla of three towns' worth of graduations and graduation parties to attend in one weekend, figuring out how to incorporate ours into the mix required a bit of contemplation and coordination so there weren't parties on top of parties.
Of course, I wanted ours to be beautiful, meaningful, and memorable, but I also wanted it to reflect our boy and be laid back, easy going, and held outside. We chose late afternoon the day before graduation to have his party, which was a perfect time for offering light refreshments and lemon iced tea, appetizers of sorts, ahead of the meal our guests may very well be dishing up at the next party.
We served mini ham & swiss roulades* with grape clusters, popcorn cups, and mini cheesecakes.** Two friends manned the food and drinks table throughout the party, keeping platters full and cups topped off. Another friend buzzed around with her fancy camera, snapping photos so I didn't have to. (Best ever! Thanks, friends!)
There were no fancy decorations or shouting balloons. But there was sunshine filtered through leaves overhead, green grass beneath, and a laughing creek nearby (with a swimming dog in it #ohnellie). And, because every party needs flowers, there were two buckets loaded with fresh-cut chokecherry at the corners of the flagstone patio. An apple basket placed at the center of the picnic table was the recepticle for all the cards and well-wishes.
The party, the people, the person. The afternoon had his name written all over it. What a way to go.
*Rolling the dough into a long, narrow rectangle, then rolling the loaded dough wide-side to wide-side makes for mini roulades.
**I used this recipe, and baked them in mini muffin tins