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6th Grade Graduation

My daughter graduated from 6th grade yesterday. I got tears in my eyes during the end-of-year slideshow. The same thing happened three years ago when my son finished grade school. Time marches on. I looked up the post on my blog about Sam’s graduation to remember how I felt (blog as family history–I love it!).

There are many things about parenting that become old hat. I have four kids, after all. But I wouldn’t say the novelty wears off. Each child is different and I’m different for each of their milestones–they keep me hopping. But even things that are EXACTLY the same (like the 6th grade graduation ceremony) some how manage to be a little poignant each time you go through them. I can say now with certainty that I know EXACTLY how the Duggars feel.

Here’s what I wrote three years ago when my son graduated from 6th grade. I can’t believe how much has and hasn’t changed (including the kinds of people you meet in parking lots when your kid bumps their car door):

Today I went to my son’s 6th grade graduation and was surprised to get tears in my eyes during the final slide show. After all, I had been to my daughter’s 3rd grade graduation/slide show earlier and remained unmoved throughout.

It’s not what you think. I don’t care about getting old, having a son old enough to graduate from 6th grade, miss him as a baby, or wonder how and why it has gone by so quickly. In fact, I enjoy aging, think Sam is more fun and interesting the older he gets, don’t care for babies, and it actually seems like a long time ago that he was born.

But remember how awesome 6th grade is? How you “rule the school”? In the slide show kids were dancing funny, wearing cool clothes, laughing, and generally acting like the teenagers they are about to become. They have no idea what’s ahead of them. Jr. high isn’t all that bad, but there’s certainly no playgrounds there. Those kids struck me as wonderfully naive. And every year from here on out they will get less and less and less naive. It’s sad. But they’re excited and it will be OK.

After my reverie we were out to the parking lot to load up and go home. Ben, my 6 year old, bumped the car next to us with his door. Yes, yes, I know this is horrible. The owner of the car was going nuts with anxiety and hand signals to me trying to convey what happened. Dude! I know what happened. It happens all the time, like every day–either to me or because of me.

So I go over to the lady’s window to deal with the incident, as I’m sure she will always remember it. There was a little white mark which I wiped off with my finger and no dent. But I don’t shirk responsibility so I said sorry and all that and asked her nicely (I mean, I’m a jerk–but I’m a two-faced jerk) what she wanted me to do because she just really seemed like she wanted me to do something, besides wiping it off with my sweat finger. And yet, there was no further repair work to be done. She was frustrated. I can’t say I blame her. Kids are frustrating. She finally exclaimed, “Well just tell him to be more careful!”

So, is what I’m going to do is: First–Tell Ben to be more careful. Second–Sit back and enjoy how wonderful everything is going to be after I tell him to be more careful.

And I spent the rest of the day opening otter pops. So there you have it.

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