Dear Parents of Preschool Graduates: You’re Gonna Make It

My Facebook feed has been overwhelmed lately with adorable graduates.

The four and five year old kind.

Every picture is captioned with something about “growing up too fast,” “where did the time go,” “my baby’s growing up!”

It was me last year.

And the year before that.

And two years before that.

Every graduation ceremony I sat there, wiping my eyes, thinking these very thoughts.

I was not prepared for how difficult this part of parenting would be. They really ought to have a chapter in those What to Expect books for Gearing Up For Kindergarten.

For me, it was torture.

So every time I see these photos of my friends’ adorable babies on Graduation Day appear on my Facebook page, I get it. It hurts so much. I’m pretty sure I cried THE ENTIRE month of May last year, as we said goodbye to the preschool that became our second home, and the teachers who loved our babies like their own. And I KNOW I cried the entire month of August when each of them started Kindergarten.

My youngest is about to wrap up his Kindergarten year, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned for those mommies (and daddies) who, like me (three times!), want to throw up at the mention of the K word.

And here it is:

You’re gonna make it.

I know, of course your head knows that. But maybe your heart didn’t get the memo. Because it’s hard to see that when you can barely get through watching that precious baby of yours walk into the room, in a graduation cap and beaming to Pomp and Circumstance.

Preschool Grad Parents

That day represents so much.

To quote my favorite show ever, “It’s like the end of an era.”

The end of those days at home, filled with naptimes and snacktimes and playtimes.

The end of being their person. The one who is always there, kissing boo-boos and reading books and tying shoes. The one who makes everything ok.

The end of those baby days. Because from here on out, they are big kids. Like, kids who get homework and eat lunch in a cafeteria and get their hearts broken and go to soccer practice.

They’re growing up, and that’s sometimes so darn hard to handle.

It’s like this new world is about to start and you’re not quite ready for it, even if they are.

Oh, I know that heartache too well. And it’s brutal.


You’re gonna make it.

Because here’s what I didn’t see then. Or couldn’t see, because I hadn’t been through it yet.

Yes, it’s the end of an era. But the one you’re about to enter is so so good, too.

Kindergarten is an amazing thing.

They become these capable…people, right before your eyes. People who can do things, and read books and understand when you say things like “in ten minutes.” You hand them a juice pouch or string cheese or yogurt AND THEY OPEN IT.

That just about blew my mind.

Yes, you aren’t needed as much. But maybe that’s a good thing. You find a freedom in that, and you find yourself loving the fact that you aren’t. You can say things like, “go get your pajamas on.” Or “go get ready for school” and it miraculously happens. Boom! Just like that.

It’s pretty incredible what happens this year.

And when they walk in the door from a long day at school, hang up their bookbag, wash their hands, and get THEMSELVES a snack while you sit back in amazement remembering that this little person could barely put a sock on last year, you’ll realize just how much you LOVE Kindergarten. Then they head outside to ride their bike and play with their buddies while you plop on the couch and enjoy the view, marveling at just how far BOTH of you have come this year.

And the best part…

You realize that no matter how big they grow, or how many hours you spend away from them, you’re still their home.

Their favorite place to be.

to preschool grad parents

Yep, you’re gonna be just fine.











  1. Thanks Liz. I needed this. I just cried my eyes out. Having one wrapping up K in a few weeks and one just graduated PreK yesterday…I’m a mess. But you know, the next stage, I’m seeing is a beautiful thing. (Still hanging on to a few more years at preschool with the youngest two). Good to hear your take on things.

Leave a Reply