Ross: Pinwheels and peer pressure at a pre-school grad ceremony

Jun 28, 2023, 7:34 AM | Updated: 8:18 am

pinwheels peer pressure pre-school...

Pupils and parents wait to enter a kindergarten school on September 2, 2021 in Lavau-sur-Loire, western France, on the first day of the French school year. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

We, of course, are proud of our two grandchildren, but yesterday we were especially proud of our 3-year-old because she successfully completed her course of study as a Huckleberry and now enters the next stage in her journey through the plant kingdom.

And that transition was celebrated with a “stepping up” ceremony.

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This was new to me as a grandparent because our kids didn’t have one, and of course, when I was 3, I frittered away my educational opportunities in a backyard sandbox, trying to figure out why my little sister was getting all the attention.

Until, at age 5, I was plunged into Kindergarten cold turkey without seeing a single episode of Sesame Street. I remember a few episodes of “I Love Lucy” and maybe an episode of “Father Knows Best.” That was it.

But yesterday, I watched in awe as each three-year-old was called by name to approach the balloon arch and walked past a gauntlet of brightly colored pinwheels to the award table to get their diplomas and a bottle of bubbles with a mortarboard cap.

And immediately, I could feel the suspense because our three-year-old tends to be shy, and the ceremony puts each child on display. Some kids hesitated, but most kids treated the pinwheels like runway lights and sprinted to the table.

And, of course, I was recording knowing that whatever she did would become family history, and I really really wanted her to own the moment.

Silly, right? She’s three!

But seeing kid after kid running past those pinwheels, I really, really, really wanted her to do it too.

Finally, it was her turn. Her name was called. She walked toward the arch, and then — she broke into a run. The pinwheels were a blur as she pulled up to the table for her award, and we applauded as she ran back to us.

Total surprise. And clearly the result of peer pressure. She immediately picked up on what the others were doing and overcame her shyness.

And I, of course, felt very proud. Even though another thought crossed my mind, which was, ‘Oh [bleep], in a few years, these kids are all going to have their own phones.’

I wonder what peer pressure will do then.

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Ross: Pinwheels and peer pressure at a pre-school grad ceremony