Graduating from childhood

Yesterday I attended Joel’s kindergarten graduation ceremony. It was the first time I have attended such a ceremony as a parent and turned out to be such a tears provoking experience. Right from the onset when they flashed a powerpoint presentation of all the photos collected of the graduating children over the 5 years, I couldn’t help but to cry.

My son is graduating from his childhood! From next year onwards, he would embark on his formal education journey and I couldn’t help but feel a loss of freedom for him and yet at the same time so filled with pride at how far he has come. He is going to learn to be responsible for his own learning journey and to pay the price if he fails to study hard. It is a difficult pill to swallow especially for me, who can no longer be there to shelter him from it.

His childcare center put on a dance performance to the Black-eyed Pea song ‘Tonight is gonna be a good night’ and Joel danced outstandingly. Of course all parents would say that about their own child. But what was different is that Joel had never been able to perform before his parents. He would shrivel up and hide in a corner whenever Theo and I turned up for any of his performances. Ended up we always had to hide in order to watch him perform.

But yesterday he danced as hard as he could and I felt the energy in his moves. He was not afraid at all to perform in an auditorium of hundreds of parents and teachers. I am so proud of him! He is finally learning to be his own person and no longer walking in the shadow of his parents. My only wish for him is to continue to walk with the Lord all His life and I am grateful to his childcare center for imparting these values to him.

I suppose as much as it is the graduation from childhood for him, it also marks a milestone in my own life. It hadn’t been easy raising Joel right from the start. The stigma and the sacrifices Theo and I had to make at such a young age bore fruit right before my eyes. And I felt like God telling me ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Well done!’

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