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Emotional Preschool Graduation

A Commencement Speech to the Parents of the Pre-K Graduating Class of 2016

"You are getting so big. Are you ready for kindergarten?" I asked my soon-to-be VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten) "graduate."

"Yes, Mom, I want to go to elementary school," he said. I started to cry as I hugged him. It was an involuntary reflex. I had about as much control over my tears as he does when he says the word "butt head" to his brother and sister. Time is moving so fast, and most of the time I don't realize it. Today it hit me. I will miss this.

I have three children. My last one will soon be joining the "school force." The weight of this brought me into his bed tonight to sit and type this. The tears are hitting the keyboard as I think about all of the lasts that I will undoubtedly miss. I guess it is hitting hardest because he is the baby. I suppose every mom feels this pain — it could be the seven medications I am taking for this awful sinus infection, but either way, there are a lot of things that I will miss about having tiny children. My baby "graduating" has just magnified the issue.

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So as a parent, I wanted to give a commencement speech to the parents of the tots who are moving on to kindergarten next year. It will go something like this:

We will miss your tiny hands.
We will miss your tiny toes.

We will miss checking for the boogeyman,
And making sure the night light glows.

We will miss the joy in your eyes,
When we pick you up from school.

We will miss those Scooby Doo sunglasses;
you thought you were so cool.

We will miss what you think is "whispering."
We will miss the cadence in your voice.
We will miss how we always thought we were the ones giving you the choice.

We will miss your innocence.
We will miss how you tell jokes.
Or how you would jump from couch to couch trying to give us a stroke.

We will miss your supertight hugs,
We will miss kissing boo-boos.
Or even your attempt at an unorganized coup.

We will miss washing your baby blanket.
We will miss having to get it sewn.
We will undoubtedly miss the way you look tonight,
walking across this stage looking oh so grown.

Here's to my fellow parents of the graduating pre-k class of 2016. Whether you have one, two, three, or more, this part never gets easier. So kiss your graduate and hug them super tight; one day soon they will be flying the coop, not just for the night.

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