Friday, May 17, 2013

Brody's Preschool Graduation

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles


Don't Take Time for Granted

One of the biggest lessons I am learning as a parent is to not take time for granted because you do not know how much you have, with your kids or with anything in life.

We had another bittersweet event today:  It was my son's last day of preschool.  It was so difficult for me to wrap my head around that realization.  I am still in denial as I write this.  I don’t know if he has accepted it yet either but for the past several weeks he has been mentioning that he does not want to go to Kindergarten or he has been asking why he has to and why can he not stay at his preschool with his friends and teacher.  

“I wish you could stay, too,” I told him.   

Graduation Day

Yes, the tears were on the edge of my eyes today, waiting to trickle down as we watched our precious children wave to us, sing and finally one by one, receive their medals and certificates of completion.  

I held those tears in, however, promising myself this morning that I wouldn’t cry there.  (I didn’t say anything about not crying in the privacy of my own home).  Sadly, the director of his school began to cry a little while she was making her speech before the program began.  I know it is just as hard for her, the staff and the teachers to watch our kids grow up and leave…every year.  I don’t think I could do that, to grow attached to a new set of kids every year only to watch them leave at the end.  I know we as parents do it with our own kids but they do it for a living, year after year; how heart-breaking!

"I liked it so much.  It was beautiful and gorgeous."
                                                                                                Brody - My Preschool Graduate 

That was Brody's answer when I asked him what his thoughts were on his graduation today.

 Pre-Kindergarten Certificate: His first diploma

After the program we followed the kids back to their classroom where they showed us their journals and notebooks filled with all their photos and work they have done throughout the year.  I could see from the first page to the last how Brody has progressed with his penmanship, drawing skills and fine motor skills.  He got back his assessment a couple weeks ago and it showed that he was on track and even received a really high score for one of the categories.  His teacher tells me every time she sees me that he is ready for kindergarten.  

Waiting for the program to start.  We waited for an hour because we wanted to get a good seat.

I love watching them sing.

The picture Brody drew as a thank you gift for his teacher.  

His binder with all his work.

I know he is ready but try telling that to my emotional heart!  My hubby said he is going to try to find a way to fail him in preschool but I do not think they’ll take back that diploma.

During the program, my daughter kept trying to pull me toward the stage so she can join her brother in singing.  I caught a future glimpse of her on that stage receiving her little diploma and my heart couldn’t take it.  I nearly fell out of my seat and passed out.  

I did not, of course, but that horror was all going on inside me while I tried to keep my tears contained while containing my little girl's mini tantrums she had going on right in front of the stage.  (I don’t think anyone really noticed since they were busy battling their tears and broken hearts, too).  Brody and one of his friends noticed; they were snickering and pointing down at her a few times instead of singing.  

Lyla Brielle having a Diva moment in front of the stage.  She wanted to be on stage, too, of course.
I looked over at Ryan and he wasn’t doing any better at handling the reality before our eyes…not about Lyla having her diva moment but the fact that Brody’s preschool days were over.  He didn’t hide the sad expression on his face: frowning eyes and lips in full pout mode.

Ryan had to get back to work because the reality is life continues, no matter what the event is, happy or sad.  (Today, it was both).  We finally left the school after saying bye to everyone, taking some pictures with his friends, teachers and our family.  He gave his teacher a gift and visited his teacher from last year.  When I got home, I felt so drained and fatigued.  I didn’t realize the day took so much out of me, most likely the emotional strain of it all.  

Yes, I admit, I let the tears escape when I got home.  I didn’t drown or take a shower in them but I probably could have (and may do that later).  It was a light sprinkle of tears that I let flow down my face while I sat on the couch and looked through his binder.  Brody and Lyla joined me to look through it, too.  He asked, “You don’t want me to go to kindergarten, Mommy?”  (I can’t even remember what I said).  His teacher made the binder as a gift for each child to share with their family and I’ll adore it forever.

One of his many art works in his binder...he always draws me with red hair.

I’ll adore my son forever, too.  He has truly been such a gift.  Life continues, I have to accept that Brody is a growing boy with so much potential so there’s no where for him to go but up, to take the next step on this board game that is our life.  He’s made us so proud and I know he needs to move on, move forward, so that he’ll be the best he can be.  

So, I suppose, yes, Brody, I do want you to go to kindergarten but for us to both enjoy every moment of these young years.  Like the director reminded us today:  “Don’t wish these years away because they’ll be gone in a flash and you can never get them back.”   

Kindergarten here we come…

Do you have any bittersweet moments that happened to you recently?  What are some things you learned not to take for granted?  

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