I’m B-a-a-a-c-k!!



Dallas here.

Mama hasn’t touched her blog in nearly two weeks, so I’m pitch-hitting for her.

Even though I’m kinda mad with her.

You see, she left me at the kennel while she and Grandma went to The Kid’s big hoop-de-doo. You know him as Domer, but to me, he’s The Kid.

And we’ve been together a long time — six years, in fact.

When Mama first brought me home, The Kid was a little guy. Fifteen, I think. And he was scared of doggins.

Because we have toofies. And can stand on our back legs to jump on people.

But Mama quickly taught me not to bite — not even in play — and not to jump.

Truth be told, I didn’t particularly like jumping anyway. I’m a herding dog, not a circus monkey!

Anyway, The Kid and I grew up together. I taught him to like dogs; he let me lick his sweat after he’d come home from golf and tennis. I taught him to throw a ball; he taught me to bring it back. He taught me to play Chase and Hide and Seek; I taught him unconditional love.

So it was only right for Mama to take me to see The Kid graduate.

I’d have been good. Honest.

I could’ve stayed in the motel. I wouldn’t “go” on the rug or bite the housekeeping staff or howl long and loud.

I wouldn’t have been any trouble at all.

But they stuck me in the kennel. I’ve been there before, though never for this long. And they say dogs can’t tell time — huh!

The kennel’s nice, all things considered. There’s other dogs and cats around, they feed me the same stuff Mama does, and they even take me for walks.

But I wanted to be with my family.

Mama’s back now. So’s Grandma and The Kid.

They surely don’t expect me to believe it took this long for him to graduate. I don’t know for certain, but I think another trip was squeezed in there somewhere.

To a place called “abroad.”

I don’t know what that was about, but I’ll tell Mama to blog it for you, okay?

“Commencement” really is a Beginning

Playing right now: “Pomp and Circumstance” by Sir Edward Elgar

When I was in high school, our band played “Pomp and Circumstance” while the seniors were marching into and out of the gym for graduation.

It was a tradition, one we eagerly embraced. As we embraced our new (higher!) chair positions without our “leaders.”

A week was set aside to practice. The seniors would walk in as we played; they’d listen as their names were read aloud, then they’d walk back out as we played again.

Over and over until it was right.

So by graduation evening, it was old hat. It never crossed my mind to cry.

Nor did I cry when I was the graduating senior (eager, I recall, to get out of Dodge!)

By the time my son (AKA My Favorite Domer) graduated from high school — Class of 2009 — they’d chosen a prerecorded version of “Pomp and Circumstance” to accompany the seniors’ processional.

Call me old-fashioned, but I liked it better when the band played. Squeaks and wrong notes and all.

So I didn’t cry at Domer’s high school graduation.

But now, he’s completed his final, final exam, marking the end of his four-year stint at Notre Dame, and Commencement is right around the corner.

And I feel weepy.

I’m going to miss ND more than Domer will because, after all, it’s “home” to him. He’ll be back for football games, reunions, and such.

I, on the other hand, won’t have a reason to go back without him there.

The other day I was in the car when “Pomp and Circumstance” — the long version — played on Sirius radio, and I couldn’t help myself.

The tears just started flowing.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be emotional when Domer walks across that stage to accept his diploma. So I’ve decided to desensitize by listening to “Pomp” every chance I get.

And it’s helping.

When I left for college, my late dad termed it a “four-year paid vacation.”

Not so. I worked too hard.

Stayed up late too often studying. Involved myself in a gazillion activities. Reported for the campus newspaper. Had a scholarship to the Band.

Yes, I had fun. But not “vacation” fun.

Domer wouldn’t call his four years a “vacation,” either.

For the first time in his life, he’s been surrounded with young people just like him.

Bright. Talented. Big-hearted. Idealistic.

Kids who are athletic. Musical. Scholars. Volunteers.

Kids who recognize that they’ve been given many advantages and “To whom much is given, much is expected in return.” (Luke 12:48)

I predict good things for the Class of 2013.

Now, if I can just get past the Alma Mater. . . .!