Littlest Boy Completes Kindergarten

My youngest son graduated from kindergarten today. I have a few observations:

  1. I thought it wouldn’t affect me, because
  2. evidently I’m a pariah among women in that my children getting bigger doesn’t make me sad.
  3. It makes me excited.
  4. Turns out, I was affected emotionally at the ceremony because
  5. kindergarteners are so freaking cute (so so so flipping adorable I love them), also…
  6. a photo of my dad hugging Truman was in the slideshow with the caption “G is for Grandpa,” at which point I was awash in color and feeling and the ironic swelling of loss,
  7. and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole was the soundtrack. I defy you to not cry under these circumstances.
  8. Then we filed like cattle from the classroom into the gym and watched all the kindergarten classes sing songs and tell jokes (Question: What does a cloud wear? Answer: thunderpants; Question: What flies around the kindergarten classroom at night? Answer: an alpha-bat).
  9. I’m also a parenting anomaly in that I don’t care about filming poor-quality videos of my kid singing with dozens of other kids. I just prefer to watch it and be present, and that’s it, which makes me a weirdo.
  10. Don’t ask me.
  11. Clarification: the mom next to me was basically the only other parent not filming either, which is (I suspect) because…
  12. we looked roughly the same age (i.e. seasoned parents, ahem). I’m going to guess that this woman was observing her youngest child’s kindergarten swan song and, like me, knew that the memory of watching it was pretty great, and also that she would never ever watch that video again so what’s the point, Karen?
  13. The other thing that happened as I watched Truman sing was this: I saw him in my mind as a premature infant, who six and a half years ago, could not breathe on his own and was transported after delivery to the big hospital with the giant NICU and the right type of ventilator, where he spent the first month of his life.
  14. In those days, I worried so much about how his delivery at 34 weeks would affect his development.
  15. Today, I looked at his thick red hair, his beanpole legs, his eager face with a pinch of freckles across the nose, and gratitude filled me up, for who he is and how far he has come.
  16. And, they were singing along to Jack Johnson’s “Upside Down,” which reminds me of when all my boys were little, hence MORE WEEPING.
  17. In fact, I cried quite a bit for someone who was not at all sad to be attending the last kindergarten graduation of her parenting career, although…
  18. I’ll probably be back as a grandparent, which sounds completely fluffy and delightful.
  19. Did you know that you can have a spiritual experience at the elementary school on the last week of school?
  20. Because now, I do.

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