Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Graduate

So Sam's last day of school was last Tuesday, and I'm pleased to report that it went much better than his first day. For both of us. Seeing him there in his little red hat, clutching his diploma made me want to cry. But I didn't.

I have adorable video of him performing in the group musical numbers. I'm tempted to inflict it upon all of you, but it's dark and shaky and noisy and grainy. And although you can still see his adorable little knee bends and fancy jazz hands through all of that, I realize it's all more endearing to a me than anyone else. (Just as V's sobbing and J's hiding behind her hands were probably adorable to V's and J's respective parents. Poor fools.)

But since I'm sparing you the video, the least you can do is indulge me while I brag: In addition to his construction paper diploma, Sam also received the President's Award for Academic Excellence. Since he was the only one in his class to get it, I figure that pretty much makes him the valedictorian of Pre-K.

They did not ask him to give a speech. But he did shake hands with the principal.

Wanna know the cutest thing about it? He was really more excited about the construction paper diploma prop than that silly little certificate signed by the President. He didn't really understand that he got a special award.

The graduation cap, on the other hand, has made frequent appearances in the week since the ceremony. He wore it all day Saturday as we ran around town, and was congratulated by strangers several times. At one point, he asked "Why do people keep talking to me about graduation when I'm tired of talking?"

I was surprised to hear he was tired of talking about it, because he's been really fascinated with all things graduation lately. When I told him that at Grandma and Grandpa's house there are (probably?) a bunch of REAL graduation caps AND gowns that he can try on next time we visit, he wanted to know the full inventory of color choices, and who wore what. Later he asked how people decide what colors to wear for graduation, and we talked about school colors and mascots and all that. I didn't realize he'd taken the whole discussion so much to heart until a few days later when he told me he didn't want to go to high school. It turned out that he was worried that he'd have to wear a cap & gown in a color he didn't like (i.e. not red), and he thought it best just to avoid that risk altogether. I assured him that it'll all work itself out by the time he's in high school. Maybe he'll go to a school that does have red gowns, or maybe he'll have a different favorite color then. He looked skeptical, but has not made further mention of ending his education after eighth grade.

I'm glad. I think he'd miss out on a lot. Although at the beginning of the year I had reservations about sending him to an all-day-every-day program, I could not have asked for a better year. He made lots of friends and soaked up information like a sponge. His teacher, Mrs. S, is as kind and caring as they come, and welcomed not just her students, but parents and siblings into her classroom as well. Grace and I spent so much time there, in fact, that when the graduates paraded down the aisles of the auditorium, Grace climbed out of her seat and tried to join them. She was antsy throughout the ceremony because she just wanted to get up there with the rest of her class where she thought she belonged. And when each of Sam's classmates stood to receive a diploma, Grace would point out her "friend" on the stage.

I'm a little worried about next year, and the years to come, because we probably won't always luck out with great teachers. But no matter whom or what he encounters, I'm pretty sure Sam has figured out he'll have a better time outside the cubby than in it. And I can't really think of a better life lesson than that. Can you?


Daisy said...

Yay! Congratulations to Sam Boy! (and to the brave mommy for being a survivor of those early mornings, dirty looks from secretaries, etc.)

brent and kashann said...

He is so sweet. I loved hearing his thoughts about life. Thanks for sharing it so well.

Peanut said...

Three cheers for the graduate! Good work all of you. Plus, I hope you inflict your video of him performing on me--I'd really like to see those knee bends and jazz hands.

Stephanie said...

Yeah! Go Sam! I think that is a wonderful lesson to learn! I can't believe how old Grace looks in that picture. It's only been a few months since I last saw her! They are both beautiful!

Anonymous said...

What a boy! We join in your pride in his accomplishments. Give him a big kiss for his grandma H.