I stood waiting in anticipation. I knew what was coming. The parents around me were restless in their excitement. The air in the classroom was electric. I stared at the white curtain in the back of the classroom that separated the classroom from the coatroom.
Just a few more minutes...
The curtain fluttered and then was pushed aside. Eleven kindergartners filed out in a row, nervous smiles on their faces. My 6 year old was the fourth one out. He wore a goofy smile and bounced a little as he walked. I aimed my camera and captured the moment.
The next five minutes I walked back and forth, behind seated parents, snapping pictures, trying to get good ones, trying to be subtle, barely containing the excitement within me. My 6 year old stood in the middle of the line of kindergartners. One of the bigger kids as the 20 preschoolers lined up on either side of the group of eleven.
It was then that they started singing. Sweet voices mingled with moving hands and feet as they performed three songs. Their teacher sat on the floor in front, conducting the group with her hands raised towards them. The smile on my 6 year old's face went from ear to ear.
After the songs ended, the preschoolers each took a small bouquet of flowers and handed a bunch to a kindergartner. I snapped the picture of two hands exchanging flowers as a preschooler gave her bouquet to my son.
Minutes later, I stationed myself near the front behind the teacher. I watched with bated breath as she called the 6 year old's name and gave him a special crystal necklace symbolizing "light" and "vision", and then shook his hand afterwards. I snapped the picture of his shy smile as she congratulated him.
She moved on to the next child and I gripped my camera hard, watching my son, me, still with pride.
Ten minutes later, the kindergarten continuation ceremony was over. My son ran over to his Dad who crouched down to his level and gave him a Huge hug.
"I'm so proud of you!" the Husband said.
My heart swelled then. I didn't get that picture but the image of my boy hugging his Dad hard and smiling with pride will forever stay with me.
It's frozen in my memory.
This piece is written in response to a memoir prompt from The Red Dress Club which asks the writer to remember a graduation.