I stood with my video camera in a row of similarly donned parents that resembled coverage at any Presidential Press Conference. Cameras clicking and video whirling as the kids all sat down in a row while the director addressed the crowd and praised the children. When the diplomas were to be handed out, each child was told to come up one at a time, take the diploma, hug their teachers, and go back to their seat. The first three children complied as instructed. The fourth child (ironically, the director’s child) ran up before his name was called. That set a precedent as all kids started to head towards the podium. They still stayed in line, but not in the same order. Watching the teachers and director quickly sort through all the diplomas and hand them out was probably only a hint of the day to day challenges they faced in their class. I had to admire their patience and decorum in controlling the potential chaos. In no time, all the kids were seated again with diplomas in hand, most of them flicking at the tassels that hung from their mortarboards. Finally, the children were asked to stand up one more time, turn to the parents and cited a quick poem to thank the parents and state that the daycare will live in their heart forever. Cute.
The ceremony was followed by a slide show in the air-conditioned classroom (thank goodness). Although the show lasted about ten minutes too long, it was fun to hear the kids call out the names of their friends whenever said friend’s face appeared on the screen. As with all of the evening, it was more fun to watch the kids than the presentations or speakers involved. After all, it was the kids’ moment.
Before the cake was served (which brought the largest cheer from the kids), the teacher’s shared philosophical statements shared by the kids over the past year. I’d like to share those of my kids with you now:
- Rather than say "It’s better to be late than never," my daughter stated, "It’s better to be late than early." Unfortunately, she lives that philosophy to the letter (as does her mother) every day. My son’s take was, "It’s better to be late than at nine o’clock." My son, the cryptic philosopher.
- We’ve heard that "too much of a good thing can be bad." My son stated that "too much of a good thing can be playing with toys." I guess you can never have too many toys, or time to play with them, as is evident by out over-flowing playroom, which used to be a dining room. My daughter went the most logical route with, "too much of a good thing can be the most."
- Especially when being around kids, one has to be reminded that "patience is a virtue." My daughter has decided that "patience is a wait." Somehow, that makes sense. The boy stated, "patience is nice." Of course, it would be nice if either child practiced patience.
- Finally, so close to Father’s Day, we’ve all heard the phrase, "Father Knows Best." My children had a different view of father…being me. My daughter was kind enough to announce that "father knows how to do a head stand." This is true, although doing so usually has my kids tackling me right away. And my son summed me up by saying, ‘father knows tricks." I’ll hold back comment on that.
- One more statement I’d like to share from an undisclosed classmate shows the logic of children at this age. "Why can’t the Spanish teacher learn English?"