Yesterday was the pre-school graduation for my oldest. It was definitely one of those days when you try your best to slow everything down, take it all in, and hope that you’ll actually remember it. Not the easiest thing to do when you’re trying to videotape, run sound, and pray an opening prayer.
It was kind of funny though, I kept hearing or reading about all of these moms who were starting to get teary in anticipation of their child’s pre-school graduation. I snickered to myself, thinking that I wouldn’t really get choked up. Then the day came.
It never helps your emotional state when you’re bordering on exhausted. It’s been a long and tiresome week which was capped off by spreading 8 yards of mulch yesterday with the help of the neighborhood kids. If those kids hadn’t helped me out, I think that I might still be out there trying to move and spread that mulch. But that’s another story and another post.
I even had a chance to preview the video that had been put together for the program, but I think that a combination of my tiredness, my dad and aunt and uncle’s presence, as well as the raw emotion of just thinking about how much I wanted my mom to have seen this day led to me starting to choke up before the program even started. I was scheduled to pray the invocation prayer at the beginning of the program and I frantically began to write stuff down in case I was unable to put my thoughts together on the fly like I normally do.
Other than the emotion of it all, it all went well. We had a little party for family afterwards (including our adopted family who we’ve become close to since we moved here). My oldest helped me pick out a cake for him the other night as we waited for his last minute haircut. Props go out to Pamper Salon in Glen Allen for agreeing to cut his hair despite the fact that I showed up at the last minute.
As my wife and I were talking later, I told her that I couldn’t help but think about how my mom was supposed to have been here to witness the day. She loved my son, he was the apple of her eye, and she would have been so proud of him. After sharing this with her, I figured that I needed to take advantage of the opportunity to share it with my son.
I took him on my knee, leaned into him, and whispered in his ear, “You know, Grandma would have been really proud to see you today, just like Mommy and Daddy are proud of you. But I think that maybe she might have been looking down from heaven and that she was still able to see you today.” My voice didn’t hold up and the tears began, but I was so grateful that he’s at the age where he humors his dad, not interrupting me, but hearing me out.
I fully expect that life might just begin to speed up now that we will have one in “real” school. All the more reason to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. I joked with my sons before that they were turning into pizzas because we’ve had so many days in a row of pizza for dinner. I picked them up, smelled them, and happily reported to them that they smelled like pepperoni and cheese and that they would have to be banned from pizza. After my maniacal laugh, we all shared a laugh together.
I smiled at the fact that my senior year of high school yearbook quote is still true, “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid!” Life’s too short to get too serious and I needed that reminder, the reminder that it’s really good to laugh. The minute that I stop acting like a child in some ways is the minute that I’ve begun to take myself too seriously, and frankly, it’s these crazy moments that my kids are going to remember years from now.
I know because it’s those moments of laughter that I remember most from growing up as well. Not that there aren’t other memories in there, but the ones that bring smiles to my face are the ones filled with laughter. Yes, pre-school’s over for my oldest and a new chapter of life is just beginning, but I can’t wait to see what’s right around the corner. He’s only five years old and I’m so proud of him already, I’m looking forward to more opportunities to be a proud parent in the future.