Opinion: Graduation a cause for celebration


I’ve just left my youngest child’s recognition ceremony, though as my husband Doo likes to point out in his Mr. Incredible voice, “It’s not a graduation. She’s moving from fifth to sixth grade!” Regardless, the Wilson family is now officially done with elementary school and I couldn’t be happier.

Of course tears threatened a few times. When you see your baby at the podium recalling her fondest memories of kindergarten in front of a few hundred people, and she speaks with poise and confidence and just the right amount of humor, you can’t help but feel proud and slightly sentimental. I sat amidst parents and teachers whom I’ve gotten to know over the last eleven years, and I realized this might be the last time I see them. And if I’m perfectly honest, I’m not quite ready to replace field days, science fairs, and movie nights with field trips to D.C. and scientific dissections of pigs and, gulp, date nights.

Graduation ceremonies inherently emphasize your child’s growth, and force you to take stock of how far she’s come. I can easily remember Maddie’s first day of school and how my neighbors and I congratulated ourselves with a mimosa cocktail that morning. Today, after I put my dancin’ queen on the bus for her last day, I had a single moment of melancholy and then jumped into the air for an Irish feet clapping. “Job well done!” I thought. So though part of me will miss the innocence of elementary school, I mostly feel relieved that we can finally close this chapter of our lives.

Not that I’m particularly anxious for another teenage girl in the house; her older sister is providing enough hormones, sass and eye rolls for the both of them and I haven’t yet developed a strategy for hiding all of my clothes, shoes, make-up and accessories. And Lord help us when we have four drivers; one has aged me easily 10 years. [Yes, I now look forty!]

But despite what Doo thinks, graduating from elementary school is a big deal, and I for one am celebrating. Peace out.