(Oddly, 4K diplomas list one's favorite fruit. But I'm getting ahead of myself).
To mark the occasion, we had outfitted Mr Bunches smartly in a polo shirt covered in little prints of skulls-and-crossbones, because "Pirate Preschooler" is the new black. Also, the shirt was black, so black is the new black, too.
After we waited outside breathlessly, the 4K teacher came to the crowd of parents in front of the school and told us we all could have been waiting in the playground, and she wondered why we were not. I imagine that many parents thought, as I did, in response: "Adults who just let themselves into preschools are asking for trouble."
But we went in, and the children assembled. Mr Bunches, not-so-smartly dressed in black, chose to sit in the shade:
Which messed up the seating order and he was escorted to his real position, as was the little boy who'd followed him:
With people all seated in the hottest places imaginable, it was time for the show to begin. Here's the opening number:
Mr Bunches will not sing on command. His teachers ought to know better. But that was a stirring start to the ceremony nonetheless; I'm sure the London Olympics will begin much the same way, with David Beckham boredly following an ant on the ground.
Then it was on to the graduation. For every thing (turn turn turn) there is a season, and the burning question in everyone's mind is how to properly symbolize moving from this thing we've been doing ("science" by way of apple-centric politics) to that thing we will be doing (the vast mysteries of kindergarten, which in Mr Bunches mind equals that fun slide, as we've been trying to introduce him to kindergarten by taking him to the school where he will be going to kindergarten, only that school is locked up, so we can only go to the playground, where Mr Bunches plays happily. In Mr Bunches' mind, then, kindergarten = playgrounds sometimes followed by ice cream. This will not end well, come September, when it turns out that is not what kindergarten is at all.)
In this case, the school opted to symbolize what it's like to go from 4K to Kindergarten through climbing a slide, receiving a diploma, and sliding down:
Which is probably a lot what it is actually like. I never went to 4K, so I don't know. My first graduation was in 8th grade, when we wore robes and walked across a stage. That did not in any way symbolize what it was like to go from 8th grade to 9th grade, in that walking across a stage in a robe did not involve having to go to dances and realizing that no girls would dance with you, or having sophomores pick on you for no reason other than that you are too slow to get away. It would have been more appropriate to have me walk across the stage and get my diploma, then have a girl shake her head sadly at me as I walked by, only to be tripped by Troy Schliepp as I headed down the stairs.
But this is about Mr Bunches, who got his diploma (the diploma, which did not interest him, congratulated him on getting past 4K and also noted that his favorite fruit was strawberries, which we did not know as he will not eat them at home, and that his favorite book was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, which also was a surprise in that we've never heard of that book. At home, when he reads at all, Mr Bunches reads Green Eggs and Ham and then acts it out, flopping off the couch to indicate that he is not eating them in a tree so let him be.)
When I asked him "Is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" your favorite book?" he said:
"Yeah." and then we went to get his popsicle. But that came after the closing ceremonies. There's a video for that but for some reason it won't load here, so if you think that your heart can stand to hear another chorale ode to commencement, click here to listen to it. If it helps, in the beginning of that video you'll hear what sounds like an approaching flight of bombers and you can imagine that this is the innocent-seeming beginning to a war movie and that tragedy is moments away. (SPOILER ALERT: It's just a plane passing overhead, so don't get carried away, Zeffirelli.)
It was only after that when we got the Popsicle, which Mr Bunches didn't want, really, so he put it in his backpack and I fished it out and we threw it away, our family heading off with a slightly sticky backpack into the brave new world of life as a kindergartner