Today, the twins (now 6 years old all of a sudden) graduated from kindergarten. There was a short celebration event outside the school in the 87 F heat.
The kids, separated into their three different class groups, and walked in a procession to the front of the seating area. They sang some songs, received their certificates, and listened to some remarks, all after we all pledged allegiance to the flag. Listening to myself recite the words to the pledge made me think of many stories that have made recent headlines around the globe. I will leave it at that for now. The ceremony was brief and it was adorable.
After the ceremonies were done, we had the option of signing the kids out of school about 45 minutes early, effectively ending the school year right then and there. The twins would have none of it. They wanted to spend every last minute they could, at school, with their teachers and friends. They wanted to ride the bus and say goodbye to their bus driver, who also had a daughter graduating in their class. So, we let them stay. They were two, of only four kids, that actually stayed in school to take the bus home.
Minutes after the twins and I were home together, Theodore collapsed on the floor, in an outburst of tears and emotion. I could see that something was eating at him, but he couldn’t get words out before emotions took over him. Before I picked him up, he said, “I just love my teacher, and I miss him, and I miss my favorite song.” I picked him up and he hugged me tight, with tears running down his face. He squeezed me and told me he loved me, and I told him the same. I spent the next 20 minutes holding this compassionate little boy who was sobbing, and saying, “We are never going to figure this out.” See, with only 4 kids left in the school, the teachers went out in style, holding an impromptu ‘dance party’ until the buses were called. One of the songs obviously struck a chord with Theodore and the weary young man, who battled the heat, and the last day of school, couldn’t remember the title or words, nor could he see past the immediate uncertainty. His twin sister did her best to sing songs, and try to remember the words of the songs at school, but we could not come up with the song.
Long story, short, I sent an email to their teacher, who did respond with the information. The story I told in the email also brought him to tears, as did his response to me. The song is Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake. I got the answer, and while the kids were sitting at the table eating their special graduation treat-dinner of fresh sushi, I played the song from nearby. The look on Theodore’s face was priceless, as he exclaimed suddenly, “That’s it!!! That’s it!!!” I sat and just watched the satisfaction and joy that was so obvious in Theodore’s face. He looked over at me several times with a content smile. It made my day.
Growing up, I was never a fan of school. Although I did dread the end of the school year. I can still remember those pangs that tugged at me when I thought about the friends and teachers I would lose touch with over the summer months. It always seemed to me, that the little web that was, what I perceived to be a lot of us all sharing a vested interest in all of our progress and performance, would never quite be the same from one year to the next. Either way, I didn’t want it to end. Today, I think I saw that same emotion in my youngest son. As the teacher referred to the twins in his response to me, “…I am going to miss both of them so much. They are two of the kindest and most well-behaved children I have ever worked with…” I appreciate those kind words very much, and I am proud of the twins.
Today was a celebration day because the school year was completed. On to the next level. The next year. The next grade. To me though, today was a reflection of countless moments that were shared throughout the school year. Moments when people came together and affected one another’s lives. Moments when personalities were displayed and choices were acted on. Kudos to all of the teachers, staff, and faculty. I feel that this won’t be the last time we celebrate the Class of 2028.