Tonight was my little girl’s pre-school “graduation” ceremony. It was the third such pre-school event we’ve attended in three years, which makes me wonder if maybe I could have planned my child rearing a little less, you know, consecutively. But I digress. The good thing is that, having to been to several of these in the past, at least we know what to expect once the house lights go down and the classes start filing in: crying, lots and lots of crying.
Not the kids, of course. They’re all full of joy and giddiness since they know that this is their “big night”, and that kindergarten will be rolling along in a few months (the big “K” makes them big kids, of course). It also helps that for the duration of the singing and dancing portion of the show, the kids are very well aware that they are the uncontested focus of an auditorium full of parents and grandparents sitting in rapt attention. Historically, when such a large number of cameras and recording devices is found together in the same room, either a new President is taking office or Jack Ruby is shooting someone.
We were talking about weeping, though. Cynical as I might be, there’s no mocking the fact that moms are going cry at stuff like this, even at a pre-school graduation when they know their emotions are being intentionally twisted like a forkful of spaghetti. I mean, come on, there’s a huge slideshow of the kids’ pictures throughout the year set to Lonestar’s version of Let Them be Little. There’s not a mom on the earth capable of keeping the ole’ mascara in place in the face of something like that.
Now, I’m going to be honest; I find this whole business a little silly. I love my daughter, and she is well on her way to having me wrapped around her little finger. That fact is, though, that she’s four years old, and tonight was little more than making a big deal out of the fact that next year, they’ll be in (almost) real school. Personally, I don’t consider it real school unless it’s more than three hours and the grade has a number. However, I will readily admit that kindergarten is a much different place than when I made butter in story circle, bounced on the Mickey Mouse bouncer, and got into a fight with a kid name Sam over the shoelace tying doll 33 years ago. I have a son who is two weeks from completing his round in the half-day big “K”, and he can sound out real words and even understands concepts like of the “magic E” at the end of words like tame, which is silent yet makes the short ‘a’ long. I bet I could pick five adults at random on the street and, at best, maybe one of them would understand what I just wrote. So, yeah, this ain’t your daddy’s kindergarten, literally.
At any rate, yes, in the long run I might find the End of Pre-School Event a little strange, but it brought my daughter plenty of joy today, especially knowing that she’s reached the end of her really “little” girl years. Personally, I’m not so sure I’m prepared to give them up just yet, but it still does me good to see her feeling so proud of herself that she can barely contain it.
So we stopped for ice-cream on the way home.