Not Every May Is A Milestone
When my daughter was almost five, her preschool class had a little graduation ceremony. It was perfectly cute. They didn’t have gowns, but they had small graduation caps and marched in to “Pomp and Circumstance”. They each got a turn to say their name, and what they wanted to be when they grew up. (I had the only movie star in the class). It was perfectly pleasant, tastefully done, and a great way to celebrate the end of her preschool “career”. There was no such ceremony, however, for the two and three year olds behind her that were moving to the next year. Nor did she partake in such a ceremony when she was two or three.
I bring this up because my middle son is now at this point and frankly I think he is being shafted. Because of the pressures of parents and teachers who have fallen into the new societal thought that “everyone is special”, my son’s preschool is having some generic ceremony for all of the kids. This includes the ones going from the two year old preschool room to the threes, and the three year olds moving up to the fours. I am under the impression that this is because the parents can’t bear to explain to their precious peanuts why they can’t have a cap and tassel, too, for another one to two years.
The milestones we celebrate every year have reached a fanatical frenzy. Frankly, I think celebrating preschool graduation itself is slightly underwhelming, but if you are going to do it, for heaven’s sakes do it right. Not every end of school year requires fanfare. (Except a nice glass of wine for myself as I toast to no homework or ridiculous projects for two months). My daughter is currently going from third to fourth grade, and mercifully they are doing nothing except a class picnic on the lawn. Frankly, they shouldn’t be anyways. So you made it from third to fourth grade? Yippee. So you are moving to the three-year-old class? Yay? Congratulations for doing something you should be doing anyways??
I understand the graduation ceremonies for pre-K, and fifth grade, and eighth grade. At least there you are finishing something. In fact, the actual definition of graduation is “to confer a degree upon, or grant a diploma to, at the close of a course of study at a university, college or school.” It signifies that you are ending one adventure, and beginning another.
Why then, do today’s parents feel the need to cheapen the experience by insisting that everyone gets recognition? It completely cheats the kids who have actually accomplished something (even if it’s just learning to write their name), just so someone’s snowflake won’t get sad. And lest you think I just lack understanding, I have an even younger kid. I have absolutely no problem telling him in the next year or two that the caps and ceremony are only for the kids who are graduating.
I intend to complain, but I doubt it will make much of a difference. There are too many whiny parents raising whiny kids who all want their child to be the center of attention all of the damn time. For them I’ll just leave them with this: when everyone is special, no one is.
I am mediocre mom!
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