My son graduates from preschool today. There is a crusty old man inside of me who finds that concept ridiculous. When I was young, we didn’t graduate anything until we graduated from high school, and the high school graduation ceremony was merely our parents’ way of telling us that our old bedrooms were being repurposed. It was time to go to college or get a job.
In the preceding years, we’d moved from one grade to the next without any discernible pomp. We didn’t celebrate the transition from elementary to junior high. Mostly we feared it. Our junior high was mixed right in with the high school. That meant there were a lot of big kids in that building, and since they were huge, they were probably mean as well. Also, there was Algebra waiting to beat us up. Nobody wanted to have a party about that.
My wife asked me if we should have a graduation party for our son. I said no, quickly and emphatically. It’s not that I don’t want us to celebrate this event, I just think we should celebrate it privately. Even the crusty old man in me agrees that this is a milestone that we should acknowledge. This year has been an important first step for the boy. Yet, I don’t want to blow it out of proportion and let him believe that he’s some kind of hot shot or that he’s forever entitled to special praise because he finished a program that had a 100% graduation rate. For Pete’s sake, he didn’t even have to pass a final exam.
But the main reason I discouraged my wife from throwing a party for the child is that I don’t want her to become the parent that all the other parents secretly despise. So far, I have not heard of any other graduation parties associated with my son’s preschool. This fragile, unspoken truce between parents seems almost too good to be true. I’m on pins and needles waiting for that one overzealous parent to ruin it for everyone.
It won’t be my wife though. Not if I can help it. The constant stream of birthday parties is quite enough. I’m about ready to take out a second mortgage so that I can afford all the birthday presents my son has given to four and five-year-olds in the past year.
Know that I love children. The kids at my son’s school are great. They should party like zoo monkeys on their birthdays. But that’s enough.
Once one parent cracks, and gets the great idea to throw and whoop-de-do preschool graduation shin-dig, dominoes will fall. Other kids will need parties. Soon, the whole town will be aflame with the glow of half-pint accomplishment. A whole year’s worth of birthday parties will be replayed, squeezed into the span of two weeks. And no one will forget who is to blame for this.
It won’t be us. Our family will be celebrating over a tray of McNuggets.
Congratulations to all of this year’s graduates – from preschool on up. Party like it’s some far-away-sounding future year that will be long into the past before you know it.
Amen! I too have wondered about these graduations. A friend of mine on Facebook from Texas recently posted a picture of her son “graduating” from 5th grade! 5th grade?!?!? What?!?!? He was even wearing a little cap & gown. It was preposterous.
We’ve avoided having to buy a cap and gown so far. The kids didn’t wear gowns and they made their own caps. I am grateful to the preschool for this sensible approach.
Couldn’t agree more!
What’s the world coming to?
An excuse for everyone to get together and let the kiddies play…sounds like a win to me.
Well, sure, if you insist on looking at it that way.
I do see your point though 🙂 It’s a little much. As a kid, I remember really looking forward to things like this (I don’t think I’ve ever had a grad party though).
As with everything, there has to be a balance. Kids should be allowed to have fun, but the parents should not be driven insane trying to keep it fun 24/7. That doesn’t bode well for the long run.
Oh come on Scott be a trendsetter, rent a hall, hire a band and a bartender. I’m always up for some free food and beer.
You pick the day, I’ll supply you with food and beer, and I’ll let you babysit for free, too.
Yeah, we used to pass grades, not graduate from them. Preschool is just daycare with some minimal learning for god’s sake. My son’s “report card” had notations for potty independence and button manipulation. Way to pass those, son!
We didn’t get report cards, so I’m still kinda in the dark about my son’s button manipulation skills. I hope he won’t be behind the other kids in Kindergarten on this one.
I’m on board for doing nothing to celebrate! I’m already in the throes of dashing my son’s expectations for his birthday party. Curses on the parent who keeps having her kid’s parties at Playzone, and no we are not going there for his birthday when we have a perfectly acceptable, fenced, back yard.
Isn’t it amazing how many places now exist for the sole purpose of making money off of kids’ birthdays?
Loved the Prince reference at the end. Perfect and so true.
Kids and Sci Fi writers are the two groups that have no concept of how fast time flies.
Yeah, who is the parent/faculty/staff member who thought that all students needed to “graduate” from each grade??? As a teacher, this is reduculus, and as a parent I am avoiding it as long as I can. Thankfully the school we go to, did a Kindergarten celebration, NOT a graduation. YEAH!!!
You got lucky once, but the odds are stacked against you. It’s a conspiracy.
Amen, sir. Love this!
What? You’re not into incessant pomp and circumstance? Shocking!
At least let the boy order the chicken tenders…and get 10 extra minutes in the germ covered McDonalds play area.
Actually, we’ll probably take him for shrimp tempura. He likes that even better than McNuggets. Hard to believe of a child, but true.
I’m with you, Scott. We use to celebrate milestones; now we celebrate inchstones.
Gosh, we do love to party, don’t we?
McNuggets seem completely appropriate!
A well-deserved treat.