Friday, June 3, 2011

A Graduate Is Made

Across the nation around the U.S. Memorial Day holiday, graduates are made by the cartload. Naturally, there's the obvious: College graduates, doctors and masters of their specialties, and high school graduates. In recent years, there appears to be a trend for even more types of graduates: junior college graduates, junior high school graduates, middle school graduates, elementary school graduates and kindergarten graduates. I do not come to speak to you of these events. Instead, I speak to you of the very first graduation of all because, yes, graduation can start even younger than kindergarten and age 5. I bring your attention to: preschool graduation.

Mock preschool graduation if you must (go ahead, I do it too), but all the eye rolling in the world doesn't erase the fact that preschool graduates are pretty darn cute. To wit, I offer you Hesperos, preschool graduate (lettered in finger painting, tire swing, and bubble blowing; distinction in letters with high honors in learning how to read; honorable mention in basic arithmetic).

Preschool graduation is about as celebratory as it gets without alcohol (although some parents may indulge after the fact on behalf of their children). There's no cap throwing and I assure you that the children are clothed under their gowns. But there is a lot of cake eating, signing of songs, and even diplomas, not to mention the artfully created construction paper mortar boards complete with Shrinky Dink 2011 on a tassel.

For Hesperos, the celebration was not so much about accomplishments past. Like any bright-eyed child of tomorrow, he was looking forward. Specifically, toward kindergarten where he will finally get to attend the 'big kid school' with his older brother a couple doors away. Hesperos is fully prepared to rush in and embrace his new teachers and classmates with a big chubby-armed hug -- a level of enthusiasm that I certainly didn't display when I started graduate school. But I didn't get a construction paper mortar board either.

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