Friday, May 31, 2013

Kindergarten Gradua...What?!

Will's preschool graduation photo.
In my opinion, students should graduate TWICE: once from high school and once from college. I'm willing to accept a third graduation, from preschool, because five-year-olds in little caps and gowns look adorable, but I really don't think kids need graduation ceremonies - or even "to graduate" - every year.  "Yippee! You graduated from 7th grade! You're moving on to...8th grade! You're still in middle school! You're still attending classes in the same building, with the same kids, and you'll be taught by the same teachers!"

I place yearly graduation ceremonies in the same category as participation trophies. Trophies for participation give children the impression that showing up to practice and daydreaming in left field during games is good enough; trophies for participation make trophies for outstanding performance, exceptional effort, and actual victory mean less. Yearly graduation ceremonies make the big ones - especially high school graduation - carry less weight.

Will's kindergarten graduation picture.
I'd like this picture better if Will had posed
with the number 25, since that's when he'll
graduate from high school. Also, I think it's
awesome that Will is wearing orange nail polish.
This morning my six-year-old son "graduates" from kindergarten. There's a ceremony. I think he'll wear a cap and gown. We'll dress up. I'll take pictures. I'll probably cry.

Will has grown tremendously since that late August day nine months ago when we dropped him off for his first day of kindergarten. And as the last day of kindergarten comes to a close later today, Tom and I will make certain Will knows how proud we are of him. But let's be honest...he's only one-thirteenth - the easiest one-thirteenth - of the way to his graduation day. The road ahead of him is long and arduous and unpredictable. Countless triumphs and struggles, each of which will further define his strengths and weaknesses, await him.

Eventually Will's years in elementary, middle, and high school will run one into the next like chapters in the novel of his academic career, a novel that will tell the story of how he traversed that long and arduous and unpredictable road and grew from a little boy into a man. Graduation will be the epilogue...the happily-ever-after he EARNS after 13 years of hard work and perseverance.

I want nothing more than for Will to be happy, but it's too early for his happy-ever-after. 12 years from now there'll be another ceremony. He'll wear a cap and gown. We'll dress up. I'll take pictures. I'll definitely cry. And THAT will be a graduation worth celebrating.

Congratulations on a job well done, my boy. You make my heart soar.

1 comment:

  1. The staff is inviting and attentive, and they provide updates on how your child is progressing. The outside toys and activities are very reminiscent to those of the school playground we had in our days.