Whither Preschool Graduation?

I’ve been laughing at with people on Facebook for years. For lots of different reasons.  It’s been extra hilarious to laugh at my friends posting pictures of their children’s preschool and kindergarten “graduations.”  Because ha ha ha how ree-dick is it to ceremonialize these moments?

Image credit: www.zazzle.co.uk

Image credit: www.zazzle.co.uk

As recently as March, I was snickering at someone who was waxing philosophically about the transition from junior kindergarten to senior kindergarten.

But now I am not laughing.  I’m holding a fully charged video camera and an iPhone desperate for some Instagrams of my own graduate and there’s nothing to take a picture of.

My first year as a parent to a school-aged child is winding down, so based on my reality which is shaped by Facebook and Twitter, I assumed I should prepare for some pomp and some circumstance.  I was rolling my eyes thinking about it, but I was prepping emotionally for the end-of-year festivities.

Turns out that not much is happening for my three-year old who is graduating from her first year of preschool.  Her school is acting like it’s no big deal to move from a three-year-old classroom to a four-year-old classroom.  What the what?  There’s no certificate, no ceremony, no nada.  There’s not even a sheet cake from Costco.  Tomorrow I’ll pick her up and we’ll go home for the summer.

*Yawn*

What was the point? Why did we bother showing up day after day if the end of the year was never going to culminate in a giant trophy or a crown or something ceramic?

To be fair, there was a preschool night a few weeks ago that allowed us to oooh and ahhh over Sadie’s extensive “portfolio,” consisting of leaves gathered in the fall, pictures colored around the holidays, and flowers painted this spring.  I confess there was a slide show.  When they turned out the lights, I clutched a tissue, ready to catch the tears that would fall for my grief about the inevitable passage of time.  Unfortunately, I never needed the tissue because I was too busy trying to find Sadie in the pictures.  I damn near suffered an aneurism from all the squinting.

That was a nice evening of celebration, but it wasn’t a graduation.

This year, I’m not going to get to post that triumphant picture of myself with my little graduate.  I’m going to have to wait until she’s four or even FIVE (gasp!) to have those iconic moments.

To ease the pain, I’m buying my own 3-foot by 4-foot sheet cake to celebrate.  The inscription? Congratulations, Graduate.

(You know what I really wanted to call this post? Where the fuck is my preschool graduation?  I didn’t because I am trying not to cuss and clean-mouth living is starting to gain traction.)

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47 thoughts on “Whither Preschool Graduation?

  1. Yes, I’m sorry, but 3-to-4 is not a big “graduation” moment. Portfolio night is de riguer at my children’s preschool, and it keeps going in my daughter’s elementary school (this year the third grade also includes a seven song recorder concert! Oh my!).

    But my son *is* officially graduating from his preschool to elementary school, and they are having a “moving up” ceremony. It’s all I can do to not bring the mimosas. Yes, I may shed a tear at the passage of time during the slideshow, as my son has been at this school since he was 15 months old, but I will be skipping my way out the door on that last day.

    And then I’ll come back there in a few weeks when he starts summer camp. Sigh.

  2. Ha! I’m sitting at Starbucks as the Pre-K graduation parents parade through super-excited for the BIG event. The best part for us was that K is much cheaper than pre-K and that warrants cake.

  3. My son’s preschool graduation is tomorrow. Also his 5th birthday. I’m pregnant. Good God, I better bring a whole box of Kleenexes.

    I dare someone to laugh at me.

  4. ha! i remember looking down my nose (just a bit, my nose is not that big) at some of my friends who had kids a lot older than mine. i was all like, i’ll never do that or that’s ridiculous. uh, hello! i do all those things. so funny. and you’ll get your graduation time – i’ve got 2 this year – from nursery and from elementary!! AHHHH!

  5. I’m hyperventilating. Pre-school? I’m in Amarillo. I don’t even know if we HAVE pre-school here. And what if we don’t? Will missing his pre-school years leave him lacking a fundamental piece of brain function that will render him unable to resist the siren song of something as base and Texan as dove hunting? I’m a pacifist. I can’t have that. Well, that’s it. We have to move somewhere civilized.
    Can you send me some of that sheet cake? I’m a little stressed and need the calories.

    Way to go on your first year of Pre-school Sadie!

  6. Oh you crack me UP! Every time I read one of your posts I say out loud, “I KNOW, right?” Congratulations to Sadie and I’m super psyched you got the cake. Pics please! Also, please don’t stop saying fuck bc it will make me want to, and I already know I can’t. You’re awesome!

  7. Unless you’re moving from a particular school, I don’t think a graduation ceremony is necessary. Then again, if you wanna celebrate one of life’s lesser moments, why not?

  8. When my kids graduated from nursery school (a long, long time ago, the specifics of which we will not get into), they made them graduate hats with an upside-down Chinet bowl and a cardboard square on top, with a tassel.

  9. My kids’ preschool doesn’t do anything special for going from the 3-4’s class to the pre-K class. BUT, the pre-K class does have a ceremony which involves sliding down a slide and through a hoop covered in streamers, and really, that was WAY more exciting than my college graduation, which I would have enjoyed a hell of a lot more if there were a slide and streamers involved. And had I not had a some nasty infection involving my throat and sinuses, but I digress.

  10. My inner curmudgeon wanta to point out that graduating is for high school seniors. My not-at-all secret cynic wants to remind you that preschool is not school age because it is pre-school-age.

    But mostly I must understand the American reliance on sheet cake. Colored Crisco on cardboard. Yuck. My not-graduating kids deserve at least those impossibly small one-bite cupcakes for their low-key end-of-year celebrations.

    Okay, fine. I’ll eat all the cupcakes to keep expectations low and Facebook posts minimal. Sacrifice from a team player is what that is.

  11. I taught pre-k for 12 years and a few places we weren’t “ALLOWED” to do graduations. Another place I worked the teachers went bat shit crazy competitive with their graduations…powerpoints, huge ass bbqs, medals, diplomas, gifts etc. They had to be VERY secretive in the planning as they didn’t want someone to steal their ideas. They would walk in the next day bragging how many ppl attended. Never mind that the ceremony was NOT developmentally appropriate and waay to freaking long for the kids.

  12. I love those portfolios! What’s better than seeing all the great progress my kid has made in a year?(Rhys can throw exactly two brushfuls of red paint on a piece of paper better now than she could at the beginning of the year!) Congrats to Sadie and to you! One year down! 😉

  13. You *did* get her a white dress, didn’t you? preferably with tulle, organza, and a petticoat? Because otherwise eff the cake (your good habits are contagious). How will she know it’s A Big Occasion if she’s not dressed like a bride? I mean really, I *know* it’s your first pre-pre-k to pre-k celebration but didn’t you get the memo?

  14. I did have a preschool graduate this year and have to say it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I sat there going, “OMG, I’m having an emotional moment at an effing *preschool* graduation? My inner cynic is so embarrassed. And plus also – I’m now the mother of an elementary school aged child. How is that possible when I’m not even a proper grown up and do I now have to start caring a lot about PTAs and stuff on the “Today” show?” On the plus side, though, there was cake.

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