This week Little Miss G wrapped up her kindergarten experience with a “kindergarten celebration” at her school. It was nice little ceremony in which each kindergarten was called forward and given a cute kindergarten-type certificate. I liked that Little Miss G’s school called it a celebration. It seemed to strike the perfect note for kids of this age. Though I disagree with having a “graduation” every step of the way, I do feel it is important to allow this age to create and experience a feeling of great accomplishment for all the hard work they’ve done this year. It lets them leave the school year feeling confident and successful.
LMG’s last day of school was also my last day of school for the year. In my district, the teachers only have to show up to help pass out report cards to our homerooms and then we’re all outta there by 9 a.m. I was happy to bring this year to an end. It has been a great year, but I’m looking forward to this summer for a number of reasons. So as John, Super L and I sat in the gym waiting for the celebration to begin, I wasn’t feeling anything but happiness and eagerness to get the summer started. Sentimentality, or an Aw, my baby’s growing up feeling hadn’t occurred to me. Until… Until they marched the kids out to Rod Stewart’s song “Forever Young.” You know it? It’s one of those songs that if you’re driving in the car, it’s nice and mellow, yet you might change the station because it’s just too sappy sweet. But just put an ounce of childhood context to it, and voila! instant tearjerker.
Which was what happened to me. I went from misty-eyed vapors to tears in record time. It just came over me so fast. I quickly looked around to see if other parents were similarly touched, and nobody, not one, seemed to be the least bit moved. They were all looking at the kids marching in, finding their own children and waving. I was beginning to think this emotional response was proof that I was either 1. way too sappy; 2. a little nutty; or 3. pregnant. Then I look over at my husband to crack a self-deprecating joke about myself and what a puddle I had become, and I’ll be doggone–his eyes were just as watery as mine. We both laughed and he said, “I’m just gonna say it’s allergies.” I just chucked and said, “okay.” He is not a crying type of guy, but he is sensitive. Sitting there with our 2 year old between us, shedding some happy tears, and laughing at ourselves for those tears, it became clear to me again how lucky I am to have married this man. [Oh, and just to leave no loose ends, I’m not pregnant. Neither is John, thank goodness.]
When the children went forward to receive their certificates, the teacher gave three interesting bits of information about them: their favorite part of kindergarten, their plans for the summer, and what they wanted to be. I was so proud of Little Miss G’s responses… Her favorite part of kindergarten was free choice time. Her plans for summer was to go to our local swim park. And when she grows up she wants to be a scientist that studies the human body. Veerrrry cool if you ask me.
So, in order to play up this very big accomplishment we told LMG at the end of the ceremony that she’s a 1st grader now. Technically, this is not exactly true, but I plan to get a lot of mileage out of it. For example, “First graders eat bigger portions of vegetables so they grow bigger.” “First graders don’t pout when they don’t get their way” You get the picture. I haven’t had to use it yet, but I was planning on having to utilize it when the time was right. Well, it didn’t take her long to own this new 1st grader status. Directly after the celebration, we decided to hit DQ for a celebratory ice cream cone. While we were sitting in the drive thru John was teasing LMG that she had something on her butt. She immediately tried to unstrap herself and he quickly said, “No, I was just teasing!” She slumped back, sighed and said, “Da-aad, you can’t tease first graders.”
I guess it works both ways, doesn’t it?