Preschool Graduation: Triumph Without Tears

G graduated preschool yesterday and in just a few short weeks he will be in kindergarten.

The ceremony included all of the pomp and circumstance of a high school or college commencement, including the processional song, “Pomp and Circumstance”. His preschool even went so far as to rent space at a local historic college and provide caps and gowns. The owner conferred the diplomas on a stage inside the college’s main chapel.

During the ceremony, I had two roles. I had to switch between proud father and photographer. As a dad, it my job to wave encouragingly and clap at the right times. As a photographer, I had to borrow from my experience in the newspaper business to get into the right spot and shoot some great photos. But it was hard for me to shoot inside the chapel. The light was transitional, and I have a limited amount of experience shooting in such conditions. Luckily, I have a trusty Nikon D40 and a long zoom lens.

The day had different meanings and feelings for parent and child. G told us he was happy but nervous. He was happy to be graduating, which I take to mean that he is getting bigger and moving on to “real” school. He told us that he was nervous, because he wasn’t sure what kindergarten would be like.

For Susan and me, it was a milestone we’ve been waiting for, and yet dreading at the same time. Unlike G, we saw the graduation coming for years. We’ve been there before. I still have vague recollections of my own nursery school graduation, and even a few pictures. But we dreaded it because it means our little boy is growing up.

But, this day had to come. Now that it is past, we can only look forward. G will be going to kindergarten at the school where I will be teaching 5th grade this year. We are ready for new milestones.


Guess What? A new post

I know. I know. It has been three months since I last posted. I know I said I would post more frequently, but then left the Dyson vacuum post up for three months leaving visitors to think I got sucked up by the amazing device. Truth is, I got very busy very quickly. Being a stay-at-home dad was fantastic, and I didn’t want to spend a single extra second away from G.
Shortly after G started daycare (“school,” as Sue calls it), I got very busy planning for a new year of teaching third graders. Before I knew it, first term was over and now Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. As such, I won’t go making any grand announcements about whether I will post here more frequently. Given that this is the first time in nearly four months that I’ve even logged into my Blogger account, I would guess no.
So, what’s been going on? Well, a lot actually. G learned how to walk in late July, which was a major milestone. Since then he’s been hard to keep up with! He started school on August 1, still a little wobbly on his feet, but generally happy to be there. His transition went better than expected, and now he walks in every day with a big smile and a wave for all of his friends. Sue and I have taken to calling him the mayor of his daycare because of the way he walks in.
Sue started school almost as soon as she moved down here. She enjoys it, even though it’s a year-round schedule. She works nine weeks, and then is off three. There’s no summer vacation, except the three between the end of one school year and the beginning of another.
My school year started in mid-August and hasn’t let up one bit yet. But that’s a good thing. I’m really enjoying my students this year. I have to admit that I was nervous going into this year because I didn’t know if I would have the same type of bond with this new group as I did with last year’s group. I do. The personalities are different, and the group dynamic is different, but there is a sameness. It has to be the age. There’s something about being eight that makes it a really special time in your life. More and more memories of that time in my life keep coming back to me. It’s amazing to think of what I was doing then. My favorite toys: Transformers, He-Man, and GI Joe. Those were also the cartoons I watched after school every day… you know, on the local UHF channel, not some nostalgic cable channel.
Over these past few months, though, the biggest thing in my life has been seeing how much G has changed. Just like those first couple of times he stood ready to fall over, he is now starting to make sounds that are sort of like words. Occasionally, he utters “Hi” over and over, but not when it’s time to greet someone. He also says, “maaamaaamaaaamaaa” when he seems to want Sue rather than me, but it’s doesn’t really seem like a call for mama. He points to things that interest him, and loves to carry around anything he can lift. He’s also a good helper. He loves doing “clean up” when it’s time to pick up his toys.
Those are the good things. The tough part has been dealing with his constant cold symptoms – a product of the daycare environment, despite the facility’s best effort to keep germs to a minimum. Knowing that G was well taken care of at home for the first 15 months of his life, I knew he would be susceptible to ever germ that came his way, and it’s now a reality.
In addition to his cold, it seems he takes after his mother when it comes to food. He’s very picky. He loves bread and potatoes, as should any true Irishman, but not to the exclusion of other foods. As such, he’s now a bit underweight and we have to fatten him up, according to the doctor. We’re trying to do so without loading him with sweets. We’ll see how that goes.
Anyhow, I can’t really think of a segue into Halloween, so let’s just say that G’s first trick-or-treating experience was underwhelming for his parents. He was a trooper, staying up late and all, but he won’t be into it until next year. Here’s a couple of recent photos. The pumpkin one is about two weeks old. Enjoy!