Thursday, June 12, 2008

To the Moon, Alice

Eldest had his "promotion" ceremony last night. We're not supposed to use the "G" word with regard to the passage from fifth grade (elementary school) to sixth grade (middle school). This from an area which has pre-school graduations. This from a school that had kindergarten graduations until very recently.

I guess it's the dawning of a new age. I don't know if it's just our school district doing it, or if that change is taking place around the county, state and country. I agree that the biggest graduations should be those from high school and from college. Those are the two biggies.

But holding a ceremony and passing out certificates to students who will no longer cross the threshold of a given school seems counter to any efforts to minimize the change. If it's not special, if it's not a graduation, just give the kids their damn report cards and send them on their way. Don't have an hour-long ceremony with speeches by kids and the principal, with names called one-by-one, with handshakes and photo opportunities and a memory-inspiring DVD photo collage display. It's either a graduation or it's just a promotion. It can't be both. And it can't be neither.

I bought Eldest a graduation card, and Pete and I gave it to him. No gift, mind you, because, hello, we're going to Europe for five weeks. But he got to choose the location of dinner. And he got to sit in the front seat even though it wasn't his turn! The dinner was delightful, I'm told.

"I'm told?" What the hell does that mean? Didn't I go to my own son's graduation dinner? No, in fact, I didn't. DAMF Youngest chose to punch -- really, really, really punch -- his sister square in the back just as the ceremony was concluding. So there was no way he was going to be allowed to go to dinner. DAMF.

In the end, Pete and Eldest went alone, and they got the chance for one-to-one time, just like they did every Friday for the first five or six months of Eldest's kindergarten time. Pete was out of work at the time, and I was taking the two others into the city to Ee-ee's and pre-school. Every Friday, Pete would pick Eldest up at 11:30 and take him to IHOP for a meal. They'd chat and have typical IHOP fare. [I do believe Pete's time there is a major factor in why we never go to IHOP.]

One kid's punishment is another kid's reward, I guess. Eldest probably couldn't have asked for a better graduation dinner. He loves me immensely, to be sure, but he so adores his father and having him to himself.

As for me, I'm willing to do hard time with Youngest, hoping to drill into that DAMF's head that it's not okay to hit. [And it's especially not okay to hit when everyone is looking.]


I mentioned to Eldest the other night that I had a fairly wide open day Friday. Writer that he is, he wondered if I would perhaps like a wri...