Yesterday, my husband and I attended our son’s Bridge Crossing ceremony which is like a small celebration to honor the kids for finishing head start and starting their journey on to kindergarten. All this time, I was excited about the fact that my little five year was about to start kindergarten and on his way to start his real school career. However, as soon as we began to prepare for the ceremony; getting his suit and hearing the songs he was learning for the actual ceremony, my eyes really began to water. I was like oh my gosh, my baby is growing up! When we brought him to the ceremony and we saw the herd of parents, families, and children rushing to get in the auditorium to see their kids celebration, I was so excited. My husband and I sat down with our 16 month old and waited until the ceremony was about to begin. Meanwhile my husband ran back out to the car (which was parked like a block away due to traffic) and I was left to really take in everything. I looked around and noticed the other parents all dressed up and excited to see the celebration of their children’s first journey as well as some other kids being ushered into the back to prepare for the ceremony with their teachers. It was then that I began to see the real magnitude of his success. Ok, you may be thinking, it is not that big a deal! He’s just finishing head start and yes, I know that may be slightly true but for me it was a symbol of the beginning of an even more important journey of success and life of learning and education. It gave me a stronger sense of obligation to teach my child everything I can and provide him with the best opportunities possible.
When my husband came back and the ceremony began, they started the processional where all the kids were seated with their teachers. Then, they began to sing the songs they had rehearsed. My son has a pretty short attention span sometimes so with some songs he was just sitting there swinging in the chair looking around like, ‘what are these jokers doing’. I had a brief negative thought at then because a part of me felt responsible for his lack of enthusiasm of this moment like I should have emphasized the ceremony a little more. I mean, I kept gushing about the fact that he was going to kindergarten soon and was beaming as if I had won a million dollars when I took him on the tour to his new school but I never really gave much emphasis to the ceremony. But then, I thought, ‘relax, it’s just a song and he was already really excited about this day so maybe he’s just not into the song’. I mean, surely we all have went to big occasions and not been really into a certain part.
So after the songs, they had each child walk over a wooden bridge that the fathers had made as a symbol of their transition from head start to kindergarten. After waiting about 45 minutes, my son’s class went last and I heard them call his name. As soon as we heard his name, my husband and I jumped up and screamed and shouted because we were so proud of him. At that moment, he seemed really happy too as he ran excitedly over the bridge with his new backpack filled with items to prepare him for kindergarten. It was then I really got a glimpse of the future when I will get to see my teenage son run across the stage for his high school graduation and then again when I see my young adult do it again for college (if he wants to). I just can’t wait until I get to experience this moment again with our other sons and with him in the future. I know they will do things that will probably make me angry and upset but I really know that they will be great and make me proud so I am eager to experience both of those emotions because it is a part of their identities developing. And, I mean, isn’t that what parenting is all about?