It’s graduation time and excitement is in the air. I don’t think there is a high school or college graduate in the world who was more excited for this week than my 6-year-old daughter, Anna, for her kindergarten graduation. I’m telling you, this girl practiced her songs and hand motions for weeks. She laid out her clothes five days ago.

And the morning of graduation, she yelled through the house at 6 a.m., “I’m ready! I’ve brushed my teeth, put on my dress and shoes and now I just need Momma to curl my hair!” As I rolled over, it was apparent that no one else was getting any more sleep so we might as well all get as excited as Anna was.

I hurried down the stairs and told her to eat her breakfast because I was going to curl her hair and then we were off for her graduation.

Let me just tell you how I knew that this baby was beyond excited for her kindergarten graduation. The night before her graduation, I sneaked into her room, as I usually do, to get a final good-night kiss and to turn off their night light.

When I bent to kiss Anna I noticed she had a book under her head; it was “We are Going to First Grade.” Then I looked down, and in her hands was a copy of her school annual. Then, as I was kissing her sister, I heard her talking in her sleep. I bent down just in time to hear her say, “And then when we go to first grade I’m going to...”

That was as far as I got before I started cracking up. I thought I’d better leave before I woke them up with my laughter.

Can you remember being that excited about something? I’m sure most of us were that excited on our wedding day, but other than that, I’m having a hard time remembering the last event that made me down-right giddy with excitement.

I know most people think that kindergarten graduations are a stupid event that really shouldn’t be celebrated to this extreme. And for the most part, I would agree with that. I heard someone say this week, “So what, we give these kids a full-on graduation because they didn’t eat enough glue or clay to kill themselves?” That was a little harsh, but I understand the thought.

Honestly, I was on that same line of thinking until I experienced the excitement this past week from my kindergartener.

She has been glowing. She has had a sweet pep in her step and it makes a great threatening tool around the house. “Anna, if you don’t pick up that book then I’m not sure they will let you graduate.” The book gets picked up and it reaffirms that my daughter actually loves her school.

Maybe it’s just my sissy-fied momma’s heart, but I definitely have a soft spot for kids who are pumped up about something with some genuine excitement. I’ll go out of my way to make sure that things get close to meeting their expectations if they are truly excited and looking forward to something like this.

So yes, in a few years I’m sure I’ll be bad-mouthing schools for holding kindergarten graduations. I mean, isn’t graduating from fifth grade just as big of an accomplishment as graduating from kindergarten?

But when my mind starts to wander that way, all I will have to do is go back and look at those pictures of Anna’s super-excited little face after graduation and I’ll remember that to those 6-year-olds, that graduation is one of the biggest moments of their lives so far.

Be excited with them. You don’t lose anything by being energetic and happy for a baby who is graduating from kindergarten. It not only will make that child feel better, I’m pretty sure the good feelings will rub off on you too. So share in the excitement of this time of the year. Remember how you felt when these days of your life were coming to a close. Encourage the graduates around you, no matter how old or young they are.

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