Graduation emotional time for parents

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo A tearful Josefina Gaytan hugs her son, Elvis, after he graduated from Texico High School during a ceremony Saturday.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

As LeAnn Gibbs watched her daughter, Emily, walk around the Texico Sports Arena on Saturday night in her cap and gown, she said she remembered her daughter’s first day of school.

On that day, she expected her daughter to cry and beg not to go.

Instead, her daughter waved her goodbye and went to class.

“She’s been that way ever since,” said a teary-eyed Gibbs, clutching a crumpled piece of tissue paper.

Gibbs and her husband David were among the more than 700 parents, relatives and friends that gathered at the arena to see the 35 members of the Texico Class of 2008 graduate.

David Gibbs said the day was bittersweet in that he was proud his daughter was finishing high school, but was sad that their only child was leaving for New Mexico State University .

“We’re happy that she’s gone from being a kid to an adult, we’re happy that she made it,” he said.

Josefina Gaytan echoed the same sentiments as she came to see her son, Elvis, graduate. She said she remembers seeing her children off to school almost everyday. She said she feels sad her children are leaving home.

“My little bird is flying from the nest,” said a choked up Gaytan who has another son, Angel, graduating Sunday from Clovis High School.

As proud as she is that Elvis is entering a new stage in his life, she is sad to see him leave. She said Elvis will attend New Mexico State University in the fall.

“He’s got a lot of dreams and I know his dreams will come true,” she said. “He made it this far, I know he’ll make it far in the future.”

Oscar Torres starts serving in the Army in July said his mother, Maria. She said her son is her first child graduating from high school.

“I think I’m more excited than (he is),” she said.

She said her son, whom she remembers taking apart stereos and vehicles to see how they worked and tried to put them back together, plans to go to school to become a mechanic after his service in the Army ends.

“I’m looking forward for him to become somebody,” she said.