Today you graduated from Kindergarten. It’s so hard to believe the academic year has finally come to a close. It wasn’t exactly how I had thought, had hoped it would be. The way it should have been. For now, I’m left wondering what graduation was supposed to be like, but at least we got to be right beside you and all of your grandparents were able to be there virtually.
Last year, when you graduated from preschool, I cried. I also spent a lot of time silently trying to encourage you to sing the songs with her class. To no avail, of course, because you are you and, apparently, you do not enjoy singing in front of people. Just like me. I started to wonder what Kindergarten graduation would be like for you, how it would go. It felt so exciting, and so far away. I don’t even remember mine, so I was looking forward to yours.
Your first year of public school was going swimmingly. You came home every day happy and smiling and telling me how much you loved your teacher. You drew pictures for her and actually tried at writing. You were eager to go to school every morning, readily running to get your shoes on. It was never a fight to drop you off. Some mornings I had to remind you to give me a hug and kiss. I loved watching you just run around the playground. Literally. You just ran around.
I missed you every day. Your sister did, too. We settled into a routine, but I was always eager to pick you up. Winter vacation came and went too quickly even though it was 3 weeks. As soon as I had to send you back to your teacher, I was counting down to Spring break. We had so many plans! Correction: I had so many plans. You were just planning on lounging at home.
And then the pandemic came and is still here. Schools closed, the county shut down. The whole state shut down. State after state shut down. It was a scary time. At first, before it got really bad, we thought schools would just be closed for the two weeks they said they were closing for. Your teacher worked with the other teachers to get resources into your hands. Your last day was on a Friday, at the end of Parent Teacher Conference week. Dad and I did get to sit down with your teacher. She said you were doing just fine; we just needed to work more with you on reading, but that it would also come in time when your brain was ready. She said you were not one of the students she ever had to worry about, but you were a quiet chatterbox. With the start of Zoom classes, I quickly found out exactly what she meant!
It was a change. A big change. We worked diligently on all the materials we were given. Two weeks stretched into the rest of the academic year. It might even stretch into the next academic year. Zoom classes started and I finally got an opportunity to see how your teacher taught you. It was sometimes a challenge to keep you focused, but we got through it. I think we had a lot of fun. At least, I had a lot of fun.
At the same time, it felt like the academic year was never going to come to an end. I was starting to become exhausted. Teaching you and keeping your sister entertained while Dad tried to work from home felt impossible some days. But we made it through with minimal tears and very few fits.
Now we’ve reached the end. I think I’m sadder about it than you are. It feels like it’s been such a long time in coming. Being stuck inside for about 3 months will do that, I suppose. Wait, has it only been 3 months? Someone help me. I feel like I went through Kindergarten with you and, in a way, I did. I can’t believe it’s over. I can’t believe you just graduated.
Your teacher was wonderful and a lot of fun. Your classmates were goofy and I hope you’ll be in first grade with a lot of them.
Onto First Grade! Onto your first year of compulsory schooling in California! I can’t believe how quickly you’re growing up. You’ll always be my little baby, my tiny little just over 5 pound baby. Now you feel a hundred times heavier and you’re really all limbs, so picking you up is kind of tricky. But you still love playing baby. Don’t grow up too fast, little boy. Also, please let me see you as my little baby even as you get older and maybe have a family of your own.
Happy Kindergarten Graduation Day!