Note: This post is part of Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs, where all the cool kids are hanging out. (Moms are welcome over there!) Welcome to my visitors from DB; thanks for stopping in!
The younger boy finishes eighth grade today. Yes, I said “finishes”. The powers that be call it “graduating”, but I can’t stand that term when it comes to finishing eighth grade. Call me a curmudgeon (go ahead, do it.), but the pomp and circumstance that is created when kids these days finish middle school is crazy*. I don’t mind giving a huge pat on the back and going out to dinner to celebrate the end of the school year, but parents these days are getting crazy with extravagant gifts. Around here it’s new bicycles, expensive electronics, and other such nonsense**. Why do I feel this way?
Number One. These kids “got through” middle school. Congratulations. It’s their job to do so, isn’t it? A kid’s main job outside of any family chores they might have to do is to be a student.
Number Two. They have four years (not including college, if that turns out to be their path) of school left! You don’t hear about many (any?) eighth grade dropouts, do you? High schoolers drop out like flies in certain areas. And if college is not in the cards for certain high schoolers, that graduation is going to be their only –and most important–one in their life. I feel like making a huge deal out of finishing eighth grade waters down the significance of high school graduation. It’s BIG, you know?
Our line to the kids has always been, “We’re so happy that you have completed middle school: now, impress us and graduate from high school!” (We’re all business.)
Of course, the conversation that Jim and I had with the younger boy last night before he went to bed did make me laugh uncontrollably last night.
He said, “Well, good night! I’m GRADUATING tomorrow!” (He knows how much that is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me)
I said, “FINISHING. You’re FINISHING eighth grade tomorrow. But, good job!!!”
He taunted us by sing-songing “Graduating, graduating, graduating” a little bit, when Jim pulled out our standard line, “Hey, impress us and graduate from high school.”
The boy held out his arms in the best comedic style ever and said, “What, graduating eighth grade isn’t good enough for ya?”
*Exception: I did speak at length about this yesterday with Weaselmomma, and agree with her that if your kid is in one tight-knit school with the same teachers and same classmates from K-8, THAT is a great reason to make a big deal out of finishing/graduating.
**Go ahead, disagree with me if you must. Differing opinions make the world go round.