Playette graduated from preschool this evening. They had a ceremony at the college down the street.
I remember thinking, last year as I picked her up from school one day and the older children were preparing for their own event, that it seemed a little over the top...this whole Pre-K graduation thing. It just seemed like one more thing to turn into an event. I vowed again, as I had over the many years prior, even before having a child of my own, that I would not get caught up in the hype.
Fast forward twelve months and I was almost right. Our preparation was low-key and, once there, I tried to politely turn down the tissues as they were passed my way just prior to the children's procession.
I took one because it seemed like the thing to do. I balled it up in my hand so that I could hold Dez more tightly.
The kids marched in, blue caps with tassles slightly askew on most heads. They smiled and waved to familiar faces.
We all stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance along with them.
The school director called them all "Kindergarteners."
I smiled. Playette didn't know every word, but she was obviously part of the group. Just another four-year-old, reveling in being the center of attention. She waved to BD, me, and Dez.
They sang three songs, one of which required them to don sunglasses and declare that they were stars.
One of the teachers read a short poem, barely able to choke back the tears that, as I was told by her daughter seated near me, she was unable to hold in during the rehearsal earlier in the day.
And then they asked each child, before they crossed the stage as individuals to receive their mock diplomas, what they wanted to be when they grew up.
I was told later that there was no coaching. Each child came up with their own answer. It may or may not have been the same during the rehearsal as it was tonight.
I recall three nurses, a cheeseburger, a butterfly, fireman, policeman, meatball, Batman, and a doctor amongst the responses.
Before they started, I jokingly told myself that Playette would probably say something silly like "pizza."
But she didn't.
She got up there and spoke into the microphone the same answer that she had given earlier that day, I later learned. She was sure. She was confident.
She was the only child who said that what she wanted to be was...a mommy.
And wished I had taken more than one tissue.