Each of the graduates wore a cap and gown. Each received a diploma. Each smiled at the applause of parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends. When all the pomp and circumstance ended, the graduates hurried to join their families. That’s when Kenzlie noticed that her mother was crying.
What? Crying on this beautiful, long-anticipated day? Kindergarten Graduation should be a time to celebrate. Isn’t that what all the commotion was about? Isn’t that why someone made that fancy cake? Isn’t that why the graduates posed for photos? Whatever was the matter with her mother?
In an effort to stem the tide of her mom’s tears, Kenzlie said the most joyous and comforting thing she could think of.
“Don’t cry, Mamma! It’s summer!”
From Kenzlie’s point of view, the best part of the celebration wasn’t the fancy cap and gown. It wasn’t the photos or the ceremony. It wasn’t even the cake.
The best part was that now, for three long glorious months, it was summer.
No school! No admonitions to be quiet, even if you were only whispering. No worry about eraser-smudged papers. No standing in line when it’s time for lunch, or when you really, really have to go…
Of course, as adults, we understand how Kenzlie’s mom was feeling.
Tearful because they’re growing up too fast. Proud because they’re more than we ever dared hope they could be. Excited for their future, but longing for them to be small enough to fit on our laps just one more day. Scared about what they will face as their worlds grow larger, but overjoyed with each goal they meet.
So, through our tears, we give our graduates — kindergarten, high school, college, and beyond — hugs and smiles. We forget the worries. God is close and God is good and God is love.
And, right now just when we need it, it’s summer.
(Photograph, copyright 2015, Kristy Currie. Photograph and story by permission of Kristy Currie.)