Monday, June 28, 2010

Graduation time: do you have a tissue?

I am a crier. Not in the sense of someone who makes announcements for the town but in the sense of a person who weeps often, especially for joy. Yep, I cry for joy a lot, so much so that when Primo was about 3 years old, I remember he went to school and saw a picture in a book of a woman crying and the teacher asked what she doing doing and he said “She’s crying for joy.”

When it comes to baptisms, weddings and graduations, I am like a woman preparing a shitload of French onion soup. I realize that in can freak my kids out when I start to publicly bawl, and it’s pretty damn embarrassing for me too, so I try to restrain myself but I am a highly emotional creature and sometimes I just can’t cut off the waterworks. Since it is graduation time, there has been a lot of tearing up lately.

At Seconda’s graduation, I was all kinds of choked up. The two women that teach the two and three year-olds at their Montessori are actual saints. They are the very pinnacle of teacher-dom; kind, caring, and firm, they really embrace each child for who they are, exactly who they are, faults, idiosyncrasies, peccadilloes, the whole kit and caboodle. I mean, I can’t even afford the same level of acceptance and generosity to my own husband and they afford to every kid in their class. You honestly get the sense that EVERY child is their favorite child, and that they genuinely love their jobs, that they enjoy spending their days with a room full of 2 year-olds. And frankly, they manage the kids so impeccably that I enjoy spending time in their room of 2 year-olds. Outside of that classroom, I can’t take more than one two-year old around me at a time without wanting to pull my hair out but in their little Xanadu, the kids are kind, helpful industrious. They share. They work quietly. They say please. I don’t know what those teachers have coursing through their blood that makes them so calm and supportive but if I could buy it on the black market, I would.

I’ll put it to you this way. I am not the only parent who told them that I’d consider having another baby just so I could get to come back to their classroom.

So when it was time to say goodbye, Seconda was totally fine and I was wiping my eyes like a sap, giving the teachers over-long hugs like a weirdo. I love those guys. It is the end of an era now that my baby’s been through their classroom.

Primo just had his Kindergarten graduation, too, and although it’s not been as smooth sailing this year for him, thanks to a few persistent playground bullies, I nonetheless started to tear up when he walked over with his official diploma.

“Mommy is so proud of you.” I wept, “You’re such a big boy.”

In these graduation moments, I can’t help but see how quickly time is passing. I remember with a keen clarity the very first time I saw my baby boy, I remember pinching his toe to make sure he was still breathing and being too scared to change his diaper. And now he’s finished Kindergarten. Next year, he’ll be in an official, numbered grade with no “Kinder” to indicate that he is still a little boy. Next thing you know he’ll be packing the car to drive off to college and I’ll be making a huge, ridiculous scene with my mascara running, chasing after the car, yelling, “You’re still my baby! You’ll always be MY LITTLE BABY!!!!!!”

So not cool.