An Eager Graduate

Almost a month has gone by now since one of the biggest life events Riley has had — preschool graduation — and I would be remiss not to fill you in. If you remember, Story’s preschool graduation week was brimming with misfortunes brought on by anticipation. If Lesley is not one of those moms to get sappy over something like preschool graduation, I certainly am. So, I was expecting nervousness, unprovoked crying spells, and preoccupied thoughts. Surprisingly, none of that happened.

But, Riley’s thoughts were certainly preoccupied with excitement.

She practiced her dance daily and recited her song multiple times a day. She was given a solo in the song and wanted to have it perfect. She talked about her cap and gown and increasingly wondered what kindergarten would be like. Finally, the day came.

She was ready. I was bit apprehensive, certain that the sight of her in cap and gown would send me off the edge. I had also heard rumors of a video that would show the kids growing up. There is nothing like sentimental pictures set to music to make a parent’s eyes water.

Ready or not quite, the program started, and her classmates began to file in. Riley eagerly paraded down the aisle, pumping her hands in the air and soaking in every moment. For a child who doesn’t often show emotion, her face was visibly brimming with pride. She had accomplished something, and this was her moment.

As the program continued, she recited the Spanish portion, nailed her solo, and enjoyed the dance. Her head teacher and director of the preschool spoke about the class and shared funny stories of the children. Then, she presented the class awards. Kids won awards like “Always Helpful” and “Forever Friend.” Her teacher began talking about a child she had watched work hard throughout the years to master skills, who never gave up when a task was difficult for her, and who embraced learning. She called Riley’s name. To say Riley was ecstatic would be an understatement. She was proud, and so was I.

We ended the night at Cracker Barrel, a destination of Riley’s choice, with Lesley and Story. The night was a perfect celebration to mark the end of her preschool career.