When Lily had her preschool graduation a few years ago, I found the whole pomp and circumstance around the event to be a tad silly. By a tad silly, I mean completely fucking ridiculous.
Fathers were proudly videotaping the event. Mothers were clutching bouquets of flowers in their fists and dabbing tears out of their eyes. Siblings and grandparents were sitting on folding chairs carefully reading the one page programs. Were these people for real? I expected a sweet little performance and maybe a photo op. It was freaking pre-school, not college, for crying out loud. What were they graduating from, exactly? Had they really learned anything? Accomplished anything? I desperately scanned the room for someone to roll my eyes at, but everyone else was transfixed on their own offspring. What a joke.
Ben graduated from preschool today, almost two years to the day that Lily did. It’s a different school, but the fuss was the same. The director gave a speech about milestones and education and how our children are particularly kind and gifted. The kids preformed sweet little songs, diplomas were handed out and the token nervous kid ran off the stage. Everything was pretty much the same, except for one thing: Me.
No, I wasn’t the mom sobbing into her sleeves or the obnoxious one pushing and shoving to get the perfect picture of my kid walking off stage, but I wasn’t rolling my eyes, either. With Lily, little milestones were exciting, not sentimental. Now that I know how fast the years fly by, though, my perspective has changed. Sure, this may just be a big fuss over a little event, but in the blink of an eye these kids will be graduating from kindergarten and eighth grade and high school. Their innocent little years are numbered and they won’t always look so darling up on stage. It kind of is something to celebrate.
I’m confident of one thing: When Evan graduates in two years, I will be “that” parent, holding a bouquet of balloons with tears streaming down my face. And, I’m even more sure that there will be a first time mother rolling her eyes at me. But, I’ll be too busy with my eyes transfixed on my baby to notice.