Kindergarten is over already?
We all know the all too familiar graduation song “Pomp and Circumstance.”
In fact, just the mention of the song will send one into humming it.
I had only heard it played at high school graduations I attended or kindergarten graduations I covered for this newspaper.
However this year was different. This time I was watching my oldest son, Matthew, so small and young, walk across the stage at his kindergarten graduation as this music was played.
He was having a hard time keeping the graduation hat on his head, while he walked across the stage in a blue graduation gown and a white sash.
As always I could tell he wasn’t quite sure about what was going on, but he followed the other kids and listened to instructions.
Once the song finished, the students made their way back out of the auditorium to line up again and receive their diplomas.
One by one, their names were called and they were recognized for their success of completing kindergarten. Upon receiving their diplomas, which was a brightly colored piece of laminated paper, they were asked what their favorite part of kindergarten was.
Other students said math, recess, field day, their teacher, but not my son. Nope. He said his favorite part of kindergarten was holding a worm, to which the audience laughed.
It was the same answer another student gave, but it made sense to me. They were partners in the classroom throughout the year so it made sense that they might have shared a memorable experience together.
Of course, the worm has a back story. I figured it either stemmed from the recent chick program the students participated in or a program the school hosted where he got to hold a millipede. During the chick program, the students had six eggs in an incubator. They waited patiently for them to hatch and learned all about the chicks.
After this thought, I listened to two kindergarten teachers read an ABC poem about what was accomplished at kindergarten. As I listened to the poem, I started to feel the tears welling up. I didn’t try to fight it, I just let a few tears fall and then casually wiped them away.
I didn’t feel so bad, since at the post graduation reception Matthew’s teacher was wiping some of her own tears away. Matthew struggled during the first part of his kindergarten year, which is why this celebration meant so much to me. I know how hard we worked. We would go through flash cards, work on reading by checking out early reading books from the libraries and we played math games his teacher recommended on the computer.
All of it seemed to pay off and he was excelling toward the end of the school year. It was nice to just take a day to celebrate Matthew’s accomplishments, but I know we will need to keep working throughout the summer so he will be ready for first grade.