Today is the first official day of Summer Break. To speak the common language, I’m supposed to say Eliott graduated from Kindergarten yesterday. However, her K-12 school does not actually hold a “graduation” ceremony, for which I am not so silently thankful. As I look at so many cap-and-gown clad Kindergarteners plastering the proud parent pages of Facebook, I silently wonder, again, about the priorities in our country. Forgive me, all of my friends of recent six-year-old graduates. I realize you really had no choice in the matter. Also. I agree that your child looks very cute. Cute like dressing up in a wedding gown is cute. Yes. It is actually cute.

But after enduring at least six high school graduations as a teacher, I can’t help but think that most kids have very little frame of reference for the actual accomplishment of completing twelve years of school. How could they? They’ve donned a cap and gown at least twice before in life. Kindergarten, and of course, the ever big deal of making it through the dreaded middle school years. After teaching 9th grade at a public school I have to personally wonder exactly how many of those 8th grade graduates were being handed empty diploma sleeves, then grandfathered on in the system due to space limitations.


But I digress.

I didn’t actually set out to publicly bash Kindergarten graduation this morning. This isn’t my thoughts on “Everybody gets a trophy” post.

The real thoughts of today spew forth from the parent side of Summer Break.

Perhaps it is the lunar cycle, or maybe the weather. Certainly there’s something to be said for children’s ability to detect change. I am actually starting to believe there is some secret-undergroung-child-conspiracy-gang-initiation taking place all over the country, by which all of our children are under the same behavioral control.

It has been nuts in our house for about a month.

Completely. Utterly. Freaking. Nuts.

Forget about The Undertoad. I have full blown parental paranoia; it’s name is Summer Break.

Eliott’s teacher grew visibly misty-eyed yesterday, as she hugged each child goodbye. I thanked her, from the bottom of my heart, and included, “I don’t think I ever cried on the last day of school, unless they were tears of joy.”

She laughed and said, “That’s the difference between teaching little kids and big kids.”

I hope she’s right. At any rate, any teacher who is still crying on the last day of school after teaching as many years as she has, should definitely still be teaching. I have exactly two memories of kindergarten, and neither one includes the name or face of my teacher.

I’m not sure this will be the case for Eliott.

And I’m really glad for that.

For entirely different reasons, now that I’m on the mom-side of Summer Break, I’m crying on the last day of school too.

Kindergarten Graduation

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