My girl Ailish just “graduated” from the sixth grade.
Just another thing created by Hallmark to sell more cards…
Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and sadly was unavailable the morning of her “grad” so I missed it. I did make it up to her by watching and listening to the song she sang that my wife recorded. She was terrific and composed and I was very proud.
But then my brain started asking weird questions…
“What is the point of a Grade 6 Grad? Is it technically graduating from anything? Isn’t it just moving from one grade to another? Isn’t everyone required to do it? Is it an actual accomplishment?”.. and so on.
Before you label me a heretic ask yourself about kindergarten “grad” for a moment…
Sure the cute factor is a level ten, but I’m not sure what a passing grade in Playtime is? I’m not even sure what goes on in kindergarten but I assume these kids aren’t adding anything to society by way of inventions or work ethic. Nap Time? Oh please…
I don’t get Nap Time at my job. I never get to play with blocks and no one cares if I colour in the lines or not. I can go to the washroom whenever I want to and the last thing I want to do is raise my hand to draw attention to myself when I do!
“Please! Everybody look at me! I need to GO!”
We are not doing our kids favours here people! We are teaching them to act like five year olds!
“Celebrate everything! Everyone is a winner! I have to have a change of clothes just in case something happens!”
Sooner or later they will grow up and have the fun sucked out of life like the rest of us and build character by shovelling snow and paying bills. Then we will watch on with pride as they become truly miserable adults like the rest of us, learning one terrible lesson after another!
It’s funny how some people think that growing up means not really having any fun. When we are young and carefree we don’t have to constantly be on the alert for bad things that might happen because we are somewhat shielded from them by responsible people. Then we start obsessing about all the negative things and getting…. afraid.
We call fear a lot of things that sound decent and noble but I wonder if we aren’t missing out on something in life… like a LIFE?
I was raised with a firm understanding that when you did stupid things there was a price to pay and that was just part of the deal so why make a bigger deal of the deal than you needed to? I was also giving care and attention from my folks and didn’t need to scrap for it or grope for it by creating drama around mistakes (any attention is better than no attention?) or pretending to get sick too much or whatever. If I needed more attention all I had to do was ask for it.
Reality was a gift my parents gave me. What I’m going to say next will revolutionize how you think if you can get a hold of it..
We lived a simple life of finding shelter in the truth.
Consequence for stupidity was a reality. No drama, but if you broke a window you paid for it. And dad would make sure you could poke a little fun at yourself while you fixed what you needed to fix. What a gift that was to me! It’s hard to be a martyr when dad is smiling at you.
I see so many adults who live a fragile existence stuck in the emotions of kindergarten that they have been unable to graduate from because they weren’t raised with a secure reality.
When did their reality became something to fight against and not roll with? I don’t know when that happened for you. When things get too difficult I see many people create their own reality, but truth created by a human with small motives is like living in a jail cell that keeps getting smaller the older we get.
My dad taught me to roll with hard times and learn as much as you can. It’s so hard to learn when you take every mistake to heart and spend most of your energy covering them up or selling yourself as something different than you really are. What a waste of time! The other thing to avoid is feeling proud of yourself for screwing things up because that’s “the way your are”. Rubbish. How does that help?
But Corey, if I had a bad childhood didn’t someone make me this way? How can you judge me when you had it so good?
I would respond to it this way:
You can’t choose where you start, only how far you want to go.
Every person alive has baggage they have to decide what they want to do with. Would you like to consider your baggage as your problem or would you like to expect everyone else in your life to carry it around for you?
So many great men and women in the world had it worse than you did. They just woke up one morning and decided enough was enough and they were sick and tired of having excuses for everything they weren’t doing and would spend the rest of theirs actually attempting something great!
But we have to graduate kindergarten first.
The trick is not expecting a huge fanfare for doing what is expected of everyone.