When I graduated from college, the moment went by, hardly noticed. I had had to leave the state to do a six month internship before I could graduate. So when I finished and came home it was not only the off semester for graduation ceremonies, but also most of my friends had graduated the previous semester. They had graduation ceremonies in the middle of the school year, but they were hardly a big deal. Nothing like the shut down of the entire city that happened in June. I didn't even bother to walk. Or go. The closest thing to a graduation ceremony celebration was my mother saying "congratulations" when my diploma came in the mail.

When I graduated from high school, there were a thousand people in my class. We had the ceremony on the football field. None of this renting out the convention center like they do around here. The school's band and orchestra provided the music and we played the Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance. I was in the orchestra, and we played while everyone else walked. I got up from my seat in the violin section to pick up my diploma when my name was called and then went directly back there to play the next piece on the program (I'm thinking it was a Shostakovitch piece, but I don't even remember now).

When I finished middle school, there was a short orientation at the local high school. We could go walk around the school a day or two and learn where all our classes were before the seniors were there to lie to us when we asked "Where is the physical education building?" only to be sent to the boys bathroom on the second floor.

When I finished elementary school, I believe there was minimal discussion about how "hey, we'll be in junior high next year and we'll be big shots." That was about it.

When I finished preschool... oh wait, I didn't go to preschool.

So, I find it fascinating that The Dormouse's preschool graduation last week was more elaborate than any graduation I've ever attended. There was an entire program, with every kid taking part, real robes and caps (that I paid $30 for), a procession line, musical selections and food.

We had a great time.

She enjoyed mugging for the camera.

And she performed a solo.

Several of the parents came up to me afterward and said, "She did such a good job. You must have worked so hard with her to remember the words."

To which, I had to reply -- "Um... not really. She didn't even tell me she was doing it. It was a total surprise." They were impressed, but I reminded them that this probably meant that one day, I'd get up in the morning and look out the front window to find the car missing. And that would be because she hadn't bothered to tell me she'd learned to drive and decided to take their kids on a road trip to Vegas for the weekend.

Man it'll be a shame if they don't let her enter kindergarten this fall -- but that's another post entirely.

Inspirational American Idol moment of the evening: