Graduation from elementary school

Four gradsIt’s a day of mixed emotions.

Pride in one’s child’s first academic milestone— and yes, she is only thirteen, so it’s a minor one.

The unintended humour of the differences in appearance of the grads. Typically, the girls are taller than the boys at this age. They emphasize this by wearing fancy dresses and heels and having their hair and makeup done. Most of the boys wear the same sort of clothes they wear every day: shirts hanging out, baggy shorts, running shoes. There’s also quite a range in height amongst the girls: those who have shot up, and who look surprisingly mature, and those who are still petite.

Boredom as the speeches from teachers and kids go on and on, using the same clichés: how much we have learned from the school; as you go on from here out into the world (kids go out into the world many times, don’t they? You get the sensation of doors opening constantly, propelling them out into ever-widening circles); we will always remember each other; you all have the potential to do great things; you will be facing new challenges. Challenge is a much-used word.

Sudden tears as the PowerPoint presentation, in spite of technical glitches, succeeds in catching moments of intense poignancy—photographs that already have the feel of distant memories and childhood innocence about them.

Back to pride and amazement in the beauty of one’s child at this perfect moment of her life.

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