A couple of weeks ago, Gideon’s and Audric’s preschool celebrated the last day of the school year with a family picnic. It’s an annual tradition wherein all of the school’s families get together to eat, gossip, and say goodbye to the children that are graduating to kindergarten. Nana and Pop-Pop were in town, so figuring they needed to surround themselves with even more screaming toddlers, we brought them along.
Now, while we love our little community preschool dearly, the end-of-year picnic resembles more of a trailer park potluck, with a random assortment of veggie dip, hard-boiled eggs (no salt, no nothin’), cold pizza and fancy hippie salad with sunflower seeds. Oh, and grape juice, cause you can’t have a trailer park anything without a saccharine sweet purple drink. Despite the strange culinary choices, the food always disappears and the kids seem fairly happy. I think there’s a lesson here.
Anyway, after the picnic, the graduating class…OK, wait a minute. I’m sorry. Every time I write “graduating” I keep thinking how ridiculous it is that this is a group of children who are leaving a school that they will have a hard time remembering when they’re 42 and pumping out code for a Moogle or Datebook or some other multi-billion dollar company. Harvard Graduating Class of 2014 this ain’t.
Yet, many of the parents get very emotional about this moment and need to celebrate it, so we followed a smaller group of parents and children to a local park to celebrate the four- and five-year-olds graduating to kindergarten.
Notice the sunglasses. No other kid is wearing sunglasses. But ours? He won’t leave home without them, complaining that the sun bothers his eyes (I know the feeling), and choosing to wear dark lenses to shield others from his disdain. Actually, he’s rarely disdainful. But you can almost hear Morrissey playing in his head while he watched the other kids walk the rainbow bridge signifying their rite of passage.
Until it was his turn, of course. Then the unicorns and the puppies all poured from the sky, and his smile could be seen from across the playground. He walked that bridge like he was valedictorian about to deliver his killer speech on the transcendence of PB&Js.
He regarded his graduation certificate with signature coolness, however. “What exactly does it say, Papi?” he asked, nonplussed by the happy stars and faces, and really wanting to get to the meat of it all. Note the sunglasses, still perched firmly on his nose. This one doesn’t ever break from character, not even for his adoring fans.
We now have a preschool graduate, who will continue on to kindergarten in the fall and learn how to hold pencils correctly, take mind-numbing tests and march down the hallways single file. In other words, he’ll learn how to be an elementary school student.
We couldn’t be prouder.