So, I am about to talk about something that many of you will disagree with, as a matter of fact, all of my readers may disagree with what I am about to say. However, make no mistake, I am right, I am correct, and the rest of you are wrong. You might even dislike me for the following words, but I am OK with that, because sometimes the truth hurts.
Yesterday, I spent about an hour at my son’s preschool graduation ceremony. Guess what? Preschool should NOT have a graduation ceremony. What did he have to do to graduate? Not pee in his pants? Although it is awesome that he no longer pisses his pants, but diploma worthy? I don’t think so. How about coloring in between the lines? Able to use a spoon and fork without assistance? Oh, here is one, he grew. That’s right, I present this diploma to you, my son, for growing. Good job.
Do you know when a diploma is worthy? When there is an actual chance that you may not succeed in earning one. For example, not everyone graduates high school. Not everyone has a bachelor’s degree. I am on the edge with middle school, but I will allow it. If you are reading this right now and you are a preschool dropout, my bad, but still, no diploma for you even if you decide to go back and work towards your missing credits in “Using the potty like a big boy 101″. My older son verbally stated his disdain for such an event at dinner. He was severely rebuked by his step-mom for such derogatory statements towards his brother’s moment, and rightfully so. I will have to teach him how to support our family members and only speak poorly of their accomplishments in blog form. And even then it is only OK when the family member can’t read, so I am OK. Don’t worry, my oldest son will get to see the highlight reel when we rewatch the edited ceremony on DVD. Editing provided by dad, cutting out the 50 minutes of useless drivel that I hat to sit through, but well within the fatherly duties. To all of my buddies about to be dads in the near future, they didn’t put that in the daddy brochure, did they? Welcome to a fraternity with very low standards and high expectations.
Was I happy for my son? Of course I was and I hope my words made him feel very special, because he is special. Was I proud? Of course not! Was I to be proud of his ability to sit in a chair, sing way too many stupid songs, and walk 10 feet to pick up a fake diploma without dropping it? I just don’t get it. Have we gone too far in the celebration of our kids and everything they do? When does it end? This is beyond everyone getting participation ribbons, this is raising the bar on mediocrity and everyone is a winner.
Also, the ceremony had a long-winded speech by the director. Here is a little lesson for everyone that may one day be involved in planning a graduation ceremony. Now, pay attention, and do not miss the following words. NO ONE IS HERE FOR YOU!!! Showcase my kid, and let me leave. As a professor, I have been to my fair share of graduation ceremonies. Here is what is necessary, 1. Welcome 2. Thanks to Faculty and Staff 3. Student Speaker (five-minute limit) 4. An invited speaker, but only if the speaker is Oprah, a funny comedian like Chris Rock, the President of the United States, or a classical reading of ‘ Oh the Places You’ll Go’ by Dr. Seuss. Otherwise, NO invited speaker. No one cares. 5. Reading of student names. NOTE: If this process takes longer than 30 minutes, the graduating class should be divided up, period. And that’s it, done. I say the ceremony will last an hour, tops. SIDE NOTE: Did you know that I was the student speaker at my graduating ceremony? True story. I have no memory of what I talked about and that is how important it was.
Bottom line: Preschool graduation is stupid. There, I said it. It’s not that my son does not deserve recognition, but it isn’t for attending a day care for four years. You know what makes my son great? He has no fear and will try anything and succeed in most things beyond his age. He is well-behaved. He has a personality that will OWN a room. Have you ever been in a restaurant and seen everyone bend over backwards to please a four-year-old? I have. He will either grow up to be President or car salesman, right now it is a toss-up. He is doing well with his numbers and letters. He is kind and helpful. His intelligence has no limit and he can hit a baseball two houses down. I am willing to give him a medal in awesomeness, but as far as I am concern, he must wait until at least the end of 8th grade to get his first real diploma.
PS – If you will be attending a graduation ceremony in the near future, I dare you to tell me I am wrong about what needs and does not need to be in a graduation ceremony.
I spent almost two hours watching a middle school talent show last week. Again, not in the daddy brochure. It was mostly brutal, but my son played violin in front of a crowd of about 200, maybe more. He did great. I could not be prouder of him and his accomplishment. Forty-one kids tried out for the show, but only 17 were selected. He was the best instrumentalist in the whole show. Unfortunately, he did not win first place in the instrumental category. Clearly, it’s all political. I’m just sayin …