Graduation season is quickly approaching -- our schoolyear ends in mid-June but I know many school districts around the country end in late May or even mid-May -- so the hunt is on for party dresses, graduation presents, flowers, balloons, and graduation announcements. And it's not just college graduation; even preschoolers have graduation ceremonies!
Ten years ago I probably would have laughed at how parents take their little kid's graduations so seriously. If I had been blogging, I would have blogged about how the flower and card companies must be laughing all the way to the bank.
Of course, that was before I had kids. Now that I have three kids, I know it's a BIG DEAL. The last graduation I attended was The Pea's graduation from preschool, five years ago, and even then I realized that her graduation was an occasion that deserved to be cherished and celebrated.
Here's The Pea on her graduation day:
And here's what I wrote about the big day on Silicon Valley Moms Blog:
A Tribute to the (Preschool) Class of '06
I just finished reading Pamela's post on her son moving to junior high school, and was moved to write about a similar experience I had today. My daughter had her Pre-Kinder graduation this morning. Since entering Kindergarten is such a big deal to her, we made a big deal of the ceremony as well. All five of us attended, nicely dressed. Other families came with balloons, flowers, and grandparents. We all poked fun at ourselves, taking this so seriously. After all, it's not like they're graduating from Stanford!
The ceremony was simple and sweet. The children marched into their classroom and sang a couple of songs. One by one, they stood up and said what they wanted to be when they grew up (fairy ballerina seemed to be a popular career choice). Then they walked up to their teacher, who gave them diplomas. Parents "aaawwww"-ed and clapped at all the right moments, and camcorders and cameras were everywhere.
Then the teachers brought out the projector screen and began a slideshow presentation. We saw baby pictures of each of our children followed by pictures of them as five-year-olds. That was when the tears started flowing. I bawled my eyes out! There was something so moving about seeing each of these children as infants, so sweet and helpless, with just a hint of the looks and personality of the future five-year-old child. Then, to see them as five-year-olds, so happy and confident and strong, and to realize how far they have come. And how quickly the time passed. There was hardly a dry eye in the place. Moms or dads, first or third child, that slide show touched us all.
So here's to you, (Preschool) Class of '06. You darling, sweet bunch of boys and girls. Your graduation did turn out to be a big deal for everyone. You did a great job at preschool. Have fun this summer before you begin your elementary adventures.
(Sniff.... this is just the first of many graduations for me -- still to come are elementary, middle, and high school graduations, then college and possibly grad school. And I've got three kids! Sigh... I'd better stock up on Kleenex).
Fast forward to five years later, and The Pea seems almost grown up.
Seeing her in this photo makes me all the more happy that we made such a big deal of her preschool graduation! Next year she'll be in fifth grade, and at next year's graduation she probably won't be holding up her diploma with such eager abandon. She'll be a bit more embarrassed, but (even though she'll try to hide it), she'll be just as pleased. She'll graduate from elementary school and move on into the next stage of her life. And that's something worth celebrating. So bring on the graduation announcements, the flowers and the balloons! Just be sure to add a tissue or two so I can bawl into it.
This post was sponsored by Tiny Prints, in the form of a Tiny Prints gift card. All words, views and opinions contained in the post are my own.