Tearing up as much as my medication would allow was no surprise to me. Because any group of kids singing, especially when they are singing to celebrate a rite of passage, is something that makes my heart swell.
Even though my five-year-old refused to sing and spent much of his preschool graduation ceremony with his hands down his pants despite my silently mouthed commands to remove them, I was still proud and mightily impressed that we have kept this tiny human alive for over five years and helped give him the confidence to be who he is.
He’s our boy, and he’s always himself. There are no pretenses with him yet. If he doesn’t want to groove to praise music, he won’t. If he would prefer not to speak with someone right then, he won’t . If he needs to pee while he is enjoying time with friends in the hot tub, he goes, and feels comfortable enough with himself to announce it.
OK, so maybe we are still working the social graces aspect of being him.
But I love that he is independent, and that he is unfettered so far by peer pressure and conformity. That he wants to please his parents and teachers, but is still true to being him. My hope for him is that he will be able to maintain that until his high school graduation and beyond, while still holding on to his innate kindness and sense of humor.
Big high fives and hugs to all of the grads and their families this season. May being yourself be easy, and may you easily find those who love you for it.
This piece was originally published in June 6, 2012 edition of The Fort Mill Times