Remember when your dreams had no limits? How in your tiny little head, the world was your own and you could do whatever you wanted with it?
Look into their eyes, gleaming with anticipation and excitement, and the days when you were convinced you could be anything you wanted to be, do anything you wanted to do, will sweep over you like a strong gust of empowerment, as though you were only four years-old again, ready to take on the world…
22 construction-paper sailboats hang from the cafeteria wall, each adorned with the name of a soon-to-be graduate. 22 little girls and boys greet us with their attempt at singing “It’s a Grand Old (Little Tikes) Flag” to welcome us to the ceremony. 22 diplomas lay carefully arranged on a table. 1 slide (Little Tikes, of course!) stands with hope and confidence in the center of the room.
As soon as all of the parents and other employees take their seats, the ceremony begins. Little voices fill the room, singing various sailor songs to fit the theme of “Sailing into the Future.” The teachers comment on each of the graduates, praising them for all they have accomplished and wishing them luck next year at kindergarten. Finally, with giant smiles and a few giggles, they line up, ready to receive the prized diploma, ready to slide right into the rest of their lives.
One by one, they march to the center of the room, proudly accept their diploma, and take their turn going down the special slide. As soon as they finish singing their farewell song they scamper off to get their cake and punch while their moms and dads watch with pride.
Today, these twenty-two children graduate from preschool. Today, twenty-two anchors are raised, ready to set sail into the future.