Friday, May 30, 2008

No cap and gown picture for Mommy.

Yesterday, Peter "graduated" from preschool. I had to send in one of Dan's white dress shirts which was going to be put on backwards and worn as a gown and the teachers made mortarboads out of bowls and poster board.

My husband left work to be there and as we settled into our tiny little seats with our cameras, I got a lump in my throat.

And all of the typical preschool graduation thoughts flooded into my mind. My baby will be going to Kindergarten soon. I can't wait to see him in his "cap and gown"! What are we going to do all summer?

Then his class began to parade into the classroom and I caught my breath at the site of the first student. The backwards shirt and homemade mortarboards looked so cute! I couldn't wait to see Peter in his.

As the class filed into the room,I had my camera poised and my breath held, waiting for my son.

My husband saw him before I did and all I heard was him say dejectedly, "Oh, Peter."

I finally caught site of Peter and realized why my husband sounded upset. Peter was the last student to come in and he wasn't wearing his "cap and gown".

When he came in the room, he left the line and came running over to me. I guess he wanted a hug and reassureance that it was okay that he wasn't wearing his "cap and gown". Instead he got me hissing in his ear, "Get over there with your class and say the Pledge of Allegiance."

He reluctantly stood with them for the Pledge of Allegiance but when they started singing the Copy Cat song, Peter hid his face. And when they started to perform another song, he came over and hid beside me.

I was disappointed. I wasn't going to get my cute graduation pictures and I imagined all the clucking the other parents were doing. They were probably all thinking that he's not ready for Kindergarten.

I wanted to stand up and scream "He's smart! He really is. He's just shy! He made 100 on his Kindergarten readiness test."

But of course, I couldn't tell them any of that because they wouldn't have believed me anyway. I just sat there in my tiny little seat, feeling sorry for myself.

Later after school, as we were eating our lunch, Peter told me he didn't want the other kids to laugh at him. That makes no sense since all the other kids were wearing the same goofy outfits and singing the same goofy songs.

Perhaps he meant to say he didn't want to feel silly or look stupid. Whatever the case, I wish I had been a little more supportive when he first walked into the classroom.

After the initial annoyance that he wasn't wearing his cap and gown wore off and as I began to realize that I really didn't care what any of the other parents thought, I took lots of graduation pictures. He may not be wearing his cap and gown and he may not be participating. But that's o.k.

I still think he's the smartest little boy in the world. I'm just going to have to wait a few years for the cap and gown picture!Not wanting to perform during the Copy Cat song.
Hiding from the class during the Copy Cat Song.
Looking away as the class performs another song.
At least he accepted his diploma. (He was fine as long as the class wasn't performing. I guess he won't be an actor, a standup comedian, or a public speaker when he grows up. But that's o.k. because if you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he will tell you he wants to be a Lego set designer. )

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17 comments:

Sue said...

Oh, that's so cute. When my stepson was his age, he inexplicably refused to wear a costume for the school Halloween parade. 80 kids in wild costumes and one boy in jeans and a T-shirt. Marching along. You kinda have to admire the defiance :)

Grandma T said...

Adorable story! :)

Annikke said...

My middle son wasn't thrilled about the cap and gown idea in preschool either. He did it, but very reluctantly!

Those are special memories!

Melanie said...

You wrote a post that I could've written. Occassionally my son will do something like this and my first thought is always something along the line of "Get back and participate with everyone else!" Only later do I want to kick myself and realize it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks and that it really isn't important after all. What counts is that he is happy!

Thanks for sharing so honestly.

Mari said...

My kids were never big on being the center of attention either. I'm sure he'll wear the cap and gown when he's a senior!
I actually think the mens shirts worked pretty good as gown!

Corey~living and loving said...

oh boy......those pics are just so funny. I'm sorry if they aren't meant to be funny, but it just reminds me so much of a typical preschooler. LOL He knew what he didn't want to do for sure. Itis interesting to me though....that his anxiety revolved around when they were performing. Stage fright for sure.

Donna said...

Oh the scrapbooker in me is thinking that those pics are going to make an awesome page. OH, but that's right... you don't craft.

Jaina said...

I'm glad you got great pictures anyways. What a cutie.

jennwa said...

I think it is good that he is not willing to follow the crowd. YOu are right he is smart and any one that talks to him for more than 2 minutes knows that he is.

Joanne said...

Beth,

My youngest son Samuel gets embarrassed about how he looks around other kids. So much so that it is quite an irritation now that he is finishing 1st grade.

I have to say though, I have seen all four of my children graduate preschool and not one stands out in any great way. Your sweet boy will grow up and you will always remember how he tried to hide behind his mommy.

Too precious.

Lets hang in there together with our boys!

AlaneM said...

What a cutie!
Ironic how their desire to not look silly makes them stand out.
I've got one who did something similar...only at a performance. He stood there like a wooden doll, not singing & with no expression on his face. His whole being sreamed out "DON'T NOTICE ME!!!"
Funny stuff :)

beth said...

This supportive parent thing, it is not easy.

I bet years from now, those pictures will be more special than the look at the camera and smile in your cap and gown type pictures would have been.

Family Adventure said...

It is tough to have a child who is a bit 'different', and as parents to such kids, we have to learn to not give a hoot what others think and love our kids for who they are.

I've been in similar situations with one of my boys, and I'm still learning. There are times when I get so upset with him, but then I realize that the reason for my frustration is my concern about what others might be thinking about him. I am not a perfect mother, but I'm trying and I'm learning.

I love these pictures. Your boy sounds lovely!

Heidi

Christina said...

He is so cute. Don't worry though I had one like this, she is 18 now and let me tell you the kid who hid her face in pre-school is my loudest kid. She sure wasn't hiding her face by the time she hit high school and last night at her graduation she danced on the stage after receiving her diploma, who would of thought.

The pictures of Peter's graduation are so sweet. I'll bet the other parents are thinking what an adorable little one he is and nothing else. Because it's true he is adorable.

Don Mills Diva said...

Aww - he marches to the beat of his own drummer and that's a GOOD thing!

Lisa said...

Cute story....already marching to the beat of his own drum, huh?

Anonymous said...

My ex-husband was exactly the same way his parents tell me. He had 180IQ, but nothing doing in the attention from others dept- even birthday parties and such. His parents sent him to a psychiatrist and then humored him. He has the same issues today at 35 and he refuses any social situation. Just one of the reasons we are no longer married. His parents now wish they had given him more structure and help with fitting in.