It was a milestone day for us today as the oldest graduated from preschool. Our guy was very excited for his big day and invited us several times. Daddy dropped him off on his final day with promises from both of us that we would be there at the prescribed time. We were. The children were all seated in a row in the front of the room, feet dangling, hands wringing and all the while smiling. It was such a sweet sight knowing how each of them had become such good friends during the year.
The parents and grandparents filed in, took their seats and turned on their recording devices. No moment would be missed of this proud day. The ceremony started and the children sang their much practiced but secret songs. Over the past few weeks we had heard previews of the songs in the form of humming when we were out of ear shot. You could sense the excited anticipation for the big day. The kids did a great job as they ran though quite a line up of songs. There were a few in Spanish, some in French. One song had some props. But the most endearing part was watching how much they loved performing them for us.
As customary in a graduation, the teacher called each child up to receive his/her certificate. They beamed with pride as they shook the teacher’s hand. Am I really seeing this, I wondered to myself. What will it be like to watch him receive his high school diploma? I had witnessed my parents watch me through these milestones but yet somehow this side of the coin feels so different. How is it possible that I am the Mom now?!?
We took some more photos and had some cake; always cake in these settings. And when it was time to leave it turned into just another day for our recent graduate. He wanted to go play on the school playground with his other friends. “Here Mom, take my backpack,” he calls as he deposits it at my feet and runs off. And there you have it. Thanks Mom, can I have the car keys now?
Fast forward to the evening and we are at our first babysitter’s high school graduation party. Again, I wonder how this is possible. It was just yesterday that she rang our doorbell as a seventh grader with her hair pulled into a side ponytail and shorts with something written across the butt. The boys loved having her watch them and so did we. She’s got a lot going for her. We arrived at the party and were greeted by her parents. “Congratulations” we say to her parents with empathy and sincerity. I now realize that these types of events, weddings, birthdays, graduations, may be centered around the child but the real celebration is for the parents.
Thank you Mom & Dad. I love you.