F$%^&! I missed it!
I sat in the second row, arm draped over the seat to my left, purse squarely resting on the seat to my right. We would not have a repeat of the Halloween show, where we sat in the last row and all of the other parents stood in front of us, phones, iPads, and video cameras completely obliterating our view. No way! I was not going to let that happen. Not at the Dancing Queen's preschool graduation!
I kept thinking "graduation".
We were told in December 2009 that DQ would never make it this long and here she was graduating. I sighed heavily, soaking it all in as I stared at the "congratulations, graduate" balloons.
My heart swelled with pride.
Just as quickly, it dropped to my toes.
This was probably going to be DQ's only graduation. Kindergarten is full day, so there is no need to graduate. No, the next graduation would be from 5th grade and DQ won't make that.
My eyes started stinging. A lump filled my throat. I was crying in the middle of the crowd of moms, dads, grandparents, and babies. I desperately tried to call the Mad Scientist as I willed him to walk through the door. I needed a distraction or at least a hug by which I could hide the pain. But traffic was bad and I sat alone, quickly wiping away tears, pretending to be inconspicuous, until the preschool classes began to stream in.
Her smile entered the muggy gym first. Her excitement was palpable from across the room. She waved to us and waited eagerly (if not patiently) for the show to begin.
Then they called her to the front. Was my baby leading the show?!? Why hadn't I been told been told of her duet?
I rushed to get my phone into video mode. Thankfully, MS grabbed it from me and captured the memory forever because all I could do was gush.
With one small voice . . .
The show continued and DQ was the star she is meant to be. She watched me the entire time and I loved every minute.
When the music ended, I had my camera at the ready for the teachers to call the graduating preschoolers up to get their certificates. Graduation.
My photo op never materialized though.
After the first child received their plastic baggie, filled with the certificate, school projects, and name tag, everyone started to move on to the pot luck portion of the evening. There was no clapping for graduates; no good luck in kindergarten; it was simply a mad dash to the buffet line.
Dejected, I walked the kids to a table in back, where MS was waiting with DQ's miraculously gluten free dinner (he had given up watching DQ's commencement to ensure she had uncontaminated food).
For the rest of the event, my mind chanted: "There was no graduation ceremony for DQ and there likely never will be." My steadfast mantra: "No graduation. No graduation. No graduation."
I couldn't leave that hot, sticky gym fast enough. And when I remembered an early morning appointment, I insisted that we leave immediately.
As we drove home though, the kids regaled me with their stories of the day and cracked jokes that were so dumb they made me laugh. I totally forgot what I was missing and relished what I already have.
The evening may not have ended the way I expected, but at least I have two small voices helping me to see the way.