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Preschool graduation – go ahead and laugh

Submitted by on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 No Comment
The invitation set my snarkometer into overdrive when the teachers handed it to us that morning.

Preschool graduation. 4 p.m., May 19. Complete with a "commencement address." It had all the markings of a big to-do, in striking contrast to Big Guy's "low-key kindergarten graduation alternative" last year that some  parents insisted on turning into a big to-do anyway. And here I hadn't even ordered Boots' class ring, let alone his calling cards.

I didn't exactly grumble - those duties were left to Big Guy, who was miffed that he'd never had a preschool graduation and had gotten stuck with a "low-key kindergarten graduation alternative." "I want to go back to preschool," he sniffed.

I did, though, roll my eyes heavily. Inwardly, at least. Outwardly, I gave every indication of looking forward to Boots' "congraduation," particularly the mysterious songs they'd been rehearsing for weeks. "It's a secret. Can't tell you. You have to come to the concert at the congraduation."

Fine. Congraduation it will be, though I still had issues with turning childhood celebrations into adult-sized events, quinceaneras that morph into mini weddings and first birthdays that require renting a hall included.

So we loaded into the car that day, Big Guy in his karate uniform because his class was shortly after the congraduation and Boots rushing to don his cap and gown because finding the karate uniform had made us late. If they play "Pomp and Circumstance" I'm going to shoot myself, I thought.

The opening notes played, and I regretted not owning a gun. Big Guy grumbled. "It's no fair!"

But then his face changed as Boots scampered up the aisle, a smile as wide as his graduation cap, his gown flapping behind him. "Awwwwwwwwwwww. Just look at that little boo. Isn't he so cute?" Big Guy said.

And he was. He was equally adorable as he danced and twirled to the stage, enthusiastically shakiing the chaplain and the director's hands on the way to getting his "cetificate." Then he pirouetted and bobbed his way off, his face wearing a megawatt smile and his tiny cetificate-clutching hand pumping in the air.

If he throws his cap in the air I'm going to gag, I thought before something disrupted my cynicism. It was the tiny tear in the corner of my eye and the lump in  my throat. A slip of a boy was very, very happy at that moment as he celebrated a year of hard work and play. He'd made friends, he'd gone on field trips, he'd performed concerts, he'd learned. He was happy not because adults were imposing their standards, but because of the pure joy of childhood.

Can boys have quinceaneras? If so, deal me in.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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