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Saturday, May 23, 2015

I Never Graduated from Kindergarten!

Photo courtesy of: David Castillo Dominici,

Once upon a time . . . back when I was in school . . . there were high school graduations and college graduations. I think I was married when I saw my first kindergarten graduation. The kids were so cute! They sang “I’m Special to Jesus,” and I was moved to tears.

After that, I noticed there were more and more kindergarten graduations. (I guess schools wanted adults to enjoy the cuteness.)

Then, there were 5th and 6th grade graduations—depending on when kids would start middle school in their areas. Caps and gowns in all colors and sizes! This year, I noticed a friend’s children graduating from both 6th and 9th grades. It made me wonder: do kids graduate from every grade?

I never graduated from kindergarten. (I never went to kindergarten!)

I did graduate from high school. The ceremony was memorable for several reasons. The young man next to me talked and joked through the whole thing, so I don’t even know who spoke. I do remember him inviting me to a party, which I declined. Afterwards, I got my picture taken with family and friends. I was happy to graduate because it meant moving on to college.

With God’s help—I don’t say that lightly—I graduated from college, as well. It was a wonderful feeling. It really was an accomplishment, and it meant I was moving on. My fiancĂ© graduated with me, and we took pictures together. We got married a month and a few days later.

My husband has a master’s degree, so he got to march another time.

We graduated. And, it meant we had worked hard and accomplished something. Each graduation meant something and marked a milestone for us.

graduation = receiving an academic degree or diploma

I’m not trying to open up a can of worms, but I’m wondering if today’s society might be having too many graduations. I mean, how much has a five-year-old accomplished? He knows his letters, colors, shapes, and probably is reading a little bit. He might know some math facts, too. Very good. But, to me—call me old fashioned—to dress him up in a cap and gown and give him a diploma before first grade has ever started seems a stretch. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a moneymaking business. After all, parents and grandparents will shell out for the cap and gown and pictures. And everyone enjoys the cuteness overload.

Some children probably do deserve recognition every year, because they go above and beyond in effort. But, you only graduate when you’ve completed the course, when you’ve done all the work required for the diploma. Or, so I think.

Illustration: hywards,

In the Christian walk, the prize (heaven) comes at the end, as well. Oh yes, we enjoy blessings as we live for God, but the real prize is our graduation diploma. We don’t see anything like we’re going to see . . . yet. We can’t even imagine how wonderful it will be on our graduation day!

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared
for them that love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).

For now we see through a glass, darkly;
but then face to face: now I know in part;
but then shall I know even as also I am known (1 Corinthians 13:12).

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).

I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

Be thou faithful unto death,
and I will give thee a crown of life (Revelation 2:10).

I don’t anticipate another school diploma in my lifetime, but I do look forward to my final graduation. (I wonder if I’ll need a mortarboard with my white robe?)


  1. Kindergarten wasn't required when I was that age, either - I don't know if they even had K-5 then.

    I have wondered about why they have a graduation for K-5, and if kids wonder why they don't do one after 1st, 2nd, and so on. It's so firmly entrenched now, though, I don't think they could cut it from the program without an uproar. It was probably meant as an encouragement for the kids and a cute factor photo session for parents and grandparents. They probably had an end-of-year program anyway and decided to turn it into a graduation.

    I've always been intrigued with graduation ceremonies being called "Commencement" - a beginning. With each ending of one thing, a new thing begins. I often wonder what new things we'll be doing in heaven - there is a verse about serving Him there, and I wonder how that will work. It will be interesting to find out. :-)

    1. Yes, the five-year-olds are just too adorable. Kindergarten graduations are probably here to stay. It's interesting to think of "commencement" relating to graduating to heaven. I am sure that eternity offers so many opportunities for praise and service. It WILL be interesting! Thank you, Barbara, for your thoughts. God bless you.


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