Well that’s it, everybody. It’s official. We’re done with Kindergarten. One year down. Twelve to go.
Today was our daughter’s “graduation” day. I’m sticking “graduation” in “quotations” because it was drummed into me in grade 9 that you only graduate once, in grade 12, and if you refer to graduation in any other scholastic context you’re only fooling yourself. We had to call our grade 9 graduation a “farewell”. Sure, we all wore suits, and we all bought corsages for our lady friends. (Yes, I went to my grade 9 farewell with a lady, you guys. A nice one.)
But enough about me and my lady friends.
Apparently our daughter’s school is TOTALLY OKAY with using the term “graduation” because it’s plastered on the pamphlets and everywhere else.
I walked her over to the school this morning, just like I did that very first morning back in September, although this time it was different. We had to go in the morning. It still took just as long though. We had to stop and pick flowers for her teacher, and then we had to race to the cross walk, only to stop again on the other side to pick up pebbles.
As we got close to the school, I spotted a familiar figure and say to our daughter, “Isn’t that Mr. Bailey?”
“MR. BAILEY!” she yelled as she rang up and gave her gym teacher a big hug.
“Well, well. Who’s this little movie star? Audrey?” (She was wearing sunglasses).
“Yes it is! I’m graduating today!”
“Oh yes! In two days you will be a grade oner!”
Thanks, Mr. Bailey, for stating the obvious.
“Well, see you in gym!” he shouted in a jovial way and went into the school. Mr. Bailey has been teaching there for as long as anyone can remember, and by God he was showing no signs of stopping. I guess there’s something to be said for staying in good physical shape.
The “ceremony” itself was to happen at 11 am, so we arrived just a few minutes before to get a decent seat. The place was packed! We got the impression that we couldn’t invite grandparents and the like due to space restrictions, but look at all those grandparents! Damn, I hope my Mom never finds out. I’ll send her a pic and hopefully that will suffice.
The music teacher actually starting playing “Pomp and Circumstance” on the keyboard and in marched the kindergarten class.
No one told me they would be wearing cute little mortar boards!
I kind of lost it a little when I saw those damn mortar boards, actually.
Audrey was in the middle of the group and when we walked in I could tell she was rubbernecking, try to spot where we were sitting. Me, in 100% goofy Dad mode, half rose out of my seat and gave her a hearty wave. She caught it and tapped the top of her head in response.
This is this thing my wife started with her. You know how some new agey people say you can teach your infant sign language so that they can tell you if they are hungry or if they have pooped their pants? (SPOILER: they are ALWAYS hungry and they are ALWAYS pooping their pants). But we didn’t know that then. We thought we were doing something helpful by teaching our baby some signs.
Well, we didn’t really get all that far with it. I think the signs for “I love you” are tapping your head (the “I”), hugging yourself (the “love”) and pointing at a person or thing (the “you”). Audrey never really learned anything past the head tapping part, and that became short-hand for “I love you” when she was a baby, and from time to time she still does it when she’s trying to be cute or something.
Audrey was feeling anxious about this whole graduation thing, so my wife told Audrey about this thing that Carol Burnett used to do on her show. Apparently she used to tug her ear or something and that was a signal to her Mom back home watching the show on TV. I don’t know. Something like that. So my wife told Audrey she could do that at the ceremony and it would be our little signal. And so she did. I feel like I’m over-explaining all this.
So what else is there to say? They sang a couple of songs, and then each one had their name called and they walked across the floor to get their “certificate of completion”. We were encouraged to clap for everyone, but really who cares? I was really only interested to see Audrey, and sure enough, even at kindergarten some kids got more applause than others. It’s hard to be some screenwriter when you happen to die the same year as Robin Williams, and the same mentality held sway here. Some kid called “Malcolm” got the most applause. I don’t know. He didn’t look that great to me. Audrey’s turn went by way quicker than I thought, and she skipped so fast to the other side of the room she lost her mortar board and the principal had to stick it back on. After that, I was restless while the rest of the kids got called, but it was all over soon enough, with cake and iced tea for everyone who came (even for those interloping grandparents).