The students: Walk in quietly to the music playing. Parade around in their good clothes.
See their parents and other family members in the audience. Cheering them on.
Faces beaming. They are so proud of themselves.
Parents: We sit and watch as our child, along with many others is passing another milestone in their lives.
We wait with our cameras to catch them as they walk across and get their diploma.
His mother and I smile at each other as he sees us and waves.
He is happy to be leaving this school and shows it enthusiastically.
The music stops and the students sit down.
The school administrator asks nicely for everyone to hold applause until everyone is done.
The first group of students is called up. Our son is among them.
Every hope of getting a picture is dashed as ten parents with cameras race to the front, blocking our view.
Parents are shouting as their child’s name is called. Drowning out the next name spoken.
There are graduation balloons blocking views. People standing in front of others.
Screaming and shouting. Cheering and whistling. Folks bumping around without even a “pardon me”.
Oh, did I mention that this is a PRESCHOOL Graduation?
Yes, that’s right. They are graduating from preschool. Going into kindergarten.
What the hell.
This is supposed to be a nice moment in our child’s lives that we can enjoy.
It’s not happening that way.
Now this is a School District Preschool. Mostly kids that need a little help to go on.
A few, like Monkey, who enjoy learning and happened to fill an opening in the class.
Yes, we are the minority in the preschool. There is only about a 5% Caucasian attendance.
But that should not matter.
You sit, and politely clap for the students. Maybe a little louder for yours.
You don’t leave as soon as your child’s gotten his/her certificate.
That is just being rude to the other children.
Please sit where you are indicated to sit.
If you need to stand up to see your child cross the stage, fine. But please sit back down.
You wear your nice clothes. For most, it meant a nice shirt/blouse with slacks/skirt.
For others it meant tight pants and a leopard print bra that just couldn’t do the job it was meant for. How do I know this? Not because I wanted to, but because the white blouse she had chosen was stretched so thin, I could see through it.
Yes, size appropriate clothes are nice too.
I kept looking around at the parents and family that came to watch.
It was like driving by an accident. You know you shouldn’t stare, but morbid curiosity takes over.
The T.V. show that you flipped by and ended up watching 45 minutes of.
There were the streetwalkers scattered throughout the room.
The apparent meth-heads who were missing half their teeth.
The woman watching one child graduate while dragging three more younger ones behind her.
Every one of them trying to get their child’s attention, or moving so they could film them.
And while doing so, blocking the view of other parents trying to watch their child.
I’m not saying that people meant to be rude.
Far from it.
I am saying, no, asking everyone to please consider others in this time of celebration.
Please show your support for your child. Let them know they are loved and appreciated.
But do not block others from enjoying this moment also.