I would be telling a bald-face lie, if I said I had not been looking forward to this day for a very long time. The truth is, this day has kept going for days, months, and almost a whole year. The thought of no more “good morning” battles, no more dressing a sleeping body as limp as perfectly boiled sphagetti, and no more, “Please, don’t make me go to school,” tears. I expected to be over joyed, elated, thrilled, my cup runneth over, flowing with excitement, but I am a little sad.
Today my daughter graduated from preschool. I know what’s the big fuss, right? It’s just preschool. It’s not like she will be spreading her wings, and flying toward higher education in the Fall, leaving her daddy and I, with an empty nest. No, she will be spending the summer at home, eating Popsicles and Watermelon, and riding her bicycle with training wheels intact. I will leave for work with my babies still in bed, and start my day with a little peace and quiet versus mortal combat. Aww, Relief! Aww, but it’s bittersweet.
There is something about seeing your child in a cap and gown, whether they are four or fourteen, that tends to evoke sadness and panic. When I saw, my very little, girl marching with the rest of her class, into a gymnasium, single file to pomp and circumstance, I began to get choked up and teary eyed. I pictured her twelve years from now, all grown up, in a cap and gown, walking across a stage, to receive her high school diploma and her independence. My heart will swell with pride and burst with sadness. What will I do when she’s no longer dependent on me? How will I get used to a house without her in it everyday? Oh, sweet Jesus, how will I ever let her go? How?
I will. Somehow I will. I may be lonely at first. I may call her once, or twice, or three times a day just to hear her sweet voice, or just to know she’s really only a phone call away. I may go to her room, lay on her bed, and remember those long nights when she wanted me to sleep with her, and she would fall asleep on my chest. I’m sure I will shed lots of tears, then the well will dry up, eventually.
Life will go on. I will carry on. I will move on. I might get a new hobby. I might travel or write a racy novel. I might take in a foreign exchange student. I might adopt a baby girl from China, and start all over again, or I might seek advice from a doctor that has a cat in his hat. I’m sure he will prescribe this antidote for me: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!”. Smile! Smile! Smile! . Dang it, I’m smiling, because after all Dr. Suess, my daughter is only graduating from preschool, for now!