Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reflections on eighth grade graduation

Eighth grade graduation.

Some people think it is stupid, overindulgent, unnecessary, and just plain silly.

What do you get with an eighth grade degree, anyway? Only to go to high school, which is basically a necessity if you want to exist in this world. Right?

I wasn't sure how I felt about eighth grade graduation until my daughter graduated from eighth grade last week, even though, once upon a time, I participated in the same hoopla and fanfare as an eighth grader. But back then, I didn't think as much as I just did.

So now, as an adult, I would have to decide, in favor or not.

I vote in favor, and this is why:

The celebration of the completion of eighth grade is a celebration of the educational process, pure and simple. It is not about where you will you to college, or what job you will get with your degree. It is about celebrating growing and changing and learning and becoming, and those things, I believe, are the most organic fruits of the learning process.

I know many parents disagree with me. Maybe not even consciously, but still they disagree. They want their children to achieve, to be, to produce, to excel, to bring glory and honor upon themselves and by extension upon their families. I'm not saying that those things are not nice- because they sure are. Heck, in a perfect world, I'd love for my kids to all be valedictorians, most valuable players, stars of the stage, loved by all. Who wouldn't?

But the inherent value of my child is not dependent on her being any of those things. To me, my children truly are special and wonderful and valuable by virtue of being my children. Each and everyday that they wake up in the morning and go and out into the world and try to make their way in this crazy life, I am absolutely proud of them. Granted, some days are better than others; and some days I take for granted how magnificent their efforts to become their own people really are.

I guess that's why I am in favor of eighth grade graduation. It forces a parent to reflect on how truly amazing their child's journey in this life really is; and it makes a mom pause, if just for a moment, to remember when; and to reflect on how that child got from point a to point b; and to dream of a future for her child, a million times brighter than her own.

And she looks gorgeous in the dress, I think- of course, I am her mom.


Amy in Ohio said...

I've come to your playground! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Which of the cuties belongs to you?

Congrats to her - this is a big deal I think! A celebration of their youth if nothing else.

Laurie of the Seven Stories said...

Amy- I am the one in the blue dress, my daughter is in off white.

the planet of janet said...

i totally agree. my roo is graduating next week and it's a b.i.g. d.e.a.l. for both of us!

thanks for stopping by ...

Melody said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

We did not have an 8th graduation here, our oldest is also headed for ninth grade next year. It would have been nice, but not essential

Of course, we also had a Kindergarten graduation, so we could have been really busy if they had done graduations for both! LOL

mommastantrum said...

OMG!! Beautiful you both are...

Congratulations, this is a big step, in four short years you'll be doing it again "for reals"

Ann(ie) said...

She DEFINITELY looks gorgeous in the dress!! You both look hawt.

Paper Girl Productions said...

You couldn't have said it better! Yes, she looks beautiful!