Veni, vidi, vici: I came, I saw, I conquered. To my almost-5-year old daughter’s nursery school graduation, that is. I had been anticipating the day ever since her first “moving up” ceremony in the 2s. I watched the seemingly “old” 5-year olds get up on stage (not run off the stage, as my almost 3-year old did), sing all the songs and know all the moves to their choreographed dances. I watched as the 4s parents took pictures, cried and congratulated each other on their children graduating from nursery school and moving on to kindergarten. And as I sat there, with my 5-week old baby boy near me, I did not think that my time as a parent of a grad would be here anytime soon.
Yet, in a flash, it was. Fast-forward 2 years to watching my 2-year old trying to run to his sister on stage and the same little girl who 2 years ago ran off stage crying who was now singing along with her friends. My big girl, all grown up and ready for kindergarten. Well, sort of…she still needs my help every now and then and still acts every bit her age of “almost 5.”
In some ways, I feel that I’M the one who graduated – from my first experience with nursery school, making new friends of my own, navigating the PTA/school board world and draining my bank account for every school fundraiser, photo and field trip. And what a wild ride it’s been for me, one that I’m anxious and excited to start all over again this fall with my son who will entering the 2s. I’ve learned that graduation, while not as sad as I anticipated it would be (I brought a stack of tissues with me), was an emotional time to look back on the people and place that helped shape my daughter’s first few years. I realized that without this experience, she might not be the person she is now – happy, funny, smart, sensitive and caring. I hope she made friends who will stick with her for years, despite attending different schools and living in different towns.
And as for me, I hope I’ll have the strength I had at my daughter’s nursery school graduation come time for my “baby” boy’s graduation 3 years from now. Which should be interesting considering I am already teary at the thought of sending him to camp alone for 4 hours a week!