We recently reached the last days of May, and that means EVERYONE seems to be graduating from something.
Last week I attended three separate events marking the end of my kids’ school year. None was particularly exciting.
I mean, let’s be honest. Graduation ceremonies are a complete snooze. You sit there listening to the names of what seems like a thousand students, waiting for the five-second window in which they say the name of the ONE child you came to cheer for and take pictures of.
I spent hours clapping politely for a zillion kids I don’t know, and then ironically NOT clapping for the kid that I DO know, so that I can frantically snap pictures before said kid leaves the stage.
This picture is GG, who just “graduated” from middle school with a class of about 450. (Yeah. 450! And I sat there and listened to ALL those names!)
AND, may I point out, this is the kid whom I just watched graduate from elementary school only two years ago, in an equally boring but slightly less long ceremony.
I found myself wondering: Why am I doing this?
Now I’m not quite the curmudgeon that blogger Matt Walsh is –see his article “Congratulations Graduates, You’ve Done Exactly What You’re Expected and Legally Required to Do!”— but I’ll admit I get a little tired of having to watch kids “graduate” from preschool, kindergarten, fifth grade, sixth grade, eighth grade, et cetera.
(And that’s only the ceremonies I’ve attended for MY OWN kids.None of whom has even finished high school yet.)
I’m reminded of the conversation in the movie The Incredibles about this subject. The character Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) didn’t like the idea of attending such an inconsequential ceremony.
(Click HERE to watch the entire scene.)
- Bob: It’s not a graduation! He’s moving from the fourth grade to the fifth grade!
- Helen: It’s a ceremony–
- Bob: It’s psychotic! They keep finding new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional–
- Helen: This is not about you, Bob!
Aha! And there it is.
It’s not about me.
I do this because it’s important to these children to see me sitting there, clapping (and yawning) and supporting them
That’s all. And that’s enough for me.