Another school year is now drawing to an end.
I had been out of the rhythm of the school year for a while. Not much has changed, but there are a few things that are different than when I had kids in school.
I recently attended kindergarten graduation. It was cute and fun. I cried a bit, but I didn't take flowers or a present to give her. That seemed a bit over the top for me. Now I know that this will rile a few people up, but I just think that while moving from kindergarten to first grade in a cool event in every childhood, it is not a major life event.
If a family thinks it is a major milestone, then celebrate with a party, presents and flowers at home afterwards. It seemed a bit confusing for the kids when about half had presents and flowers and the other half just had hugs and kisses.
Another present giving ritual that I have been puzzled by are Easter presents. When I was working, my staff spent time before Easter discussing what types of presents they would be putting in their kids Easter baskets. Items ranged from CD's to Barbie's and other toys.
Now I am not going to get into the debate about how much of this holiday represents a religious day and how much is a secular celebration, but it was never about presents when I was growing up. Easter baskets and candy ruled the day. It was also a time to look forward to a new spring outfit. Ours was a dress, shoes, socks and a hat for church.
When I worked with parents who were frustrated with parenting issues, there was always one topic that was always on their minds. That issue was that their kids didn't clean up their toys. I would ask how many they had to pick up.
Lots and lots was the response. How many do they really play with on a regular basis?
Two or three things were the usual reply.
We bombard our kids with material things. It makes us feel good. Our kids are happy (for about 10 minutes). What they are really looking for are the hugs and kisses we can give.
There are much simpler things that create memories than stuff.
Running in the sprinkler in the evening will leave a longer impression than the Easter CD they may get in their Easter basket. Oh, they will probably play the CD over and over again, but it will not be the Easter CD they will talk about one day when they are older.
What they will remember will be the day you ran in the sprinkler with your work clothes still on and slipped, fell and laughed about it.