Sunday, May 18, 2008

All Circumstance and No Pomp.

Last Thursday night my children graduated from preschool. Yes, preschool. Yes, graduated. Complete with diplomas and miniature caps and gowns.

Festivities were held at the school, with a program consisting of songs being sung and verses being recited. When other parents attend these kinds of things, they get to watch their children sing (or more like yell) off key, smile and wave in their general direction, and make amusing hand gestures about turtles who chew gum and worms that eat horses.

But me? I get to watch my child consistently try and trip himself by stepping on his own pants leg while chewing on his left hand, which resulted in falling off the front step at least 30 times in 10 minutes. And I was lucky enough to get to watch my other child spend the entire program searching for an imaginary splinter in his hand, while facing the opposite direction from all the other children, only moving to cover his mouth when he coughed. A gesture that I have to admit, I was very proud of. Sure some mothers there could be proud of their children's wide toothy smiles and excellent diction. But I was filled with pride at NOT having to be "the mother of the child who coughed all over all the other children during the entire program infecting each of them with a vicious cold".

Don't let those angelic emotionless faces fool you...

You might think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. Not one chorus, not one verse was uttered. While the other children looked as happy as can be, they looked as if they'd rather be in the doctors office, getting their yearly shots instead of on-stage showing off for their friends and family.

However, when it came time for them to don the cap and gown, walk up the aisle ALONE and receive their diploma, they completely surprised me. Their smiles were big, their walk was confident, and their diploma, well, it made a really good sword.

I couldn't believe they were actually enjoying it. What a perfect metaphor of our parent/child relationship so far - just when I thought I had them all figured out, they go and change the whole game on me. Seeing them standing in front of the audience, beaming and giggling, joking with their classmates, I suddenly saw a glimpse of them 13 years from now, parading across the stage with their senior class. Sounds cliche I know, but I've got the pictures to prove it:

They look so old. So 'boy'. So mischievous. And never mind the fact that Hayden held some random girl's hand for an undisclosed amount of time. Hello? Is he trying to give me a heart attack?

Just look at that face! Its making me nervous already...

After returning home We concluded our evening the way any graduate would...with silly string and fireworks of course (thank you to my mom for the uh, age-appropriate supplies)!

They even managed to floor me all over again by cleaning up the whole mess all on their own...

Can someone please tell me - Who are these children? And what have they done with my babies?

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