Preschool graduation was held last night, and as she is with anything…Callie was super excited. We’d bought her a new dress, put her hair up and curled it, and packed an extra matching bow.
Since I’ve never done preschool graduation, I assumed it would just be a little bbq at the park and playing. While I am usually excited to do anything new with my kids, I slightly dreaded this large event, swarming with young children and parents chasing after them. I imagined Clayton trying to scale the large slides, and throwing a fit as we tried to corral him for two and a half hours.
This is how it started out of course, and by the time they called out for the preschool graduates, I was exhausted from chasing either Clayton (I was accurate, he kept heading to the gigantic slide), or Callie, who was chasing boys by the creek (and the mud).
We all huddled around the line of teachers, who handed out graduation caps to our little ones that were heading off to kindergarten. While the caps were only half the size of the one I received in highschool, I still felt a little sad. I know this is the only the beginning of the slew of things that will be ending and new beginnings in my baby’s life…but this is one I’m truly sad to let go of. First of all, it went entirely too fast…and I’m pretty sure I was too stressed about work, or a clean house, or just life in general to really take it all in. Secondly, I felt attached to these teachers.
I often times hear people say, I don’t want to take my kids to a church school, I don’t want them pushing their religious ideas off on my kids. However, God is not a religion, period. These teachers are so wonderful, warm…and loving – they themselves represent God in everything they do. Religion is about things you can’t do, or judgement. God himself is about things you can do, love, and forgiveness. While I think many people confuse religion with God, Callie’s preschool teachers do not. They pray for our children, they tell the story of how Jesus died on the cross (which is in the Bible itself)….but above all they just love and nurture our babies so they are ready for the next phase in their life. To me, they bring the best of what God has to offer and we as families can take it or leave it. It’s not pushed, and I believe, we’d be foolish not to accept.
I watched Callie enthusiastically put on her graduation cap, smile her cute little smile, and when they called her up to the front, she bounced up there with glee. The teacher had something wonderful to say about each child. They started with one word, then explained in a few sentences that did not define our child, but that could explain a few of their traits. One boy was charming, and often told each teacher they were beautiful. When Callie got up there, I held my breath in anticipation, as though we were at her college graduation and she would be heading off to law school.
“Teacher. Callie’s word is teacher because she’s constantly teaching. She’s teaching the other kids, she’s teaching the teachers. We always have one or two of them…they are the ones that could run the classroom. She could probably run this whole event!”
While I didn’t cry, I felt like it. It honestly didn’t matter what that pretty teacher had said, I’d felt pride for each and every parent as she described their children as well. There’s something about being singled out and having your special traits displayed for a group to see. It’s something to be proud of, no matter who you are.
As we drove home, I realized I better take in this next year each day at a time…because I realized these milestones are just going to keep flying by, and before we know it, we’ll be sitting at her highschool graduation….and I will be crying!