Rites of Passage

There was a time in my pre-kids life that I blatantly scoffed at the idea of preschool graduations. How silly these little ceremonies. Congrats, kid, you can say your ABCs and identify colors. You’ve really achieved something.

Perhaps that was just my own insecurity that I never had attended preschool and therefore possessed no pictures of myself in a tiny cap and gown. Perhaps I thought it was just another way we, as Americans, were unnecessarily praising the next generation. Or maybe, just maybe, I was full of crap.

What? A person admitting that kids changes their perspective? Yup. Shocking, I know.

I am sure there are still quite a few out there who still scoff and drip sarcasm at the idea of a preschool commencement, but I’m not one of them. I am a preschool graduation convert.

The 5 year old graduated from preschool today. The preschool he has spent the last three years finger painting and singing and learning about books and navigating new friendships in. As the day approached, I was finding myself quite emotional about it. Not his leaving preschool, necessarily. After all, the 2 year old will be there next year singing the same songs, his art adorning the same halls and letting butterflies loose in the same playground. But rather, I was emotional at all this step represented. Not all he had learned or accomplished or done. But all that he will learn, accomplish and do.

Today marks the beginning of his real academic journey. I have nurtured and cared and hugged and played Chutes and Ladders and taken him on this infant to toddler to preschooler journey and now it’s time for me to let him go. It’s time to test the skills the hubby and I (and his preschool teachers) have taught him. It’s time for him to make decisions about who he sits with at lunch and how he will conduct himself in a  classroom. I have done everything I can do to prepare him and now it’s time to let him go.

On August 6, he will step onto a new path.

Of course, he’s not leaving home and my influence and guidance will help him navigate the life lessons he still has to learn, because at age 5 he certainly hasn’t seen the real challenges life has to offer. But today, I can celebrate how he can read and think and question and joke. Concepts that, considering 5 years ago he couldn’t walk or talk and only had two teeth, are pretty monumental.

And that is worth celebrating.