Yep, my little Leo is not all that little anymore. Even though it doesn’t seem that long ago that he looked like this:

And I spent what seemed like days on the phone telling everyone I knew how adorable and sweet my little baby was…

Now it’s five years later, and Leo has learned all that preschool can teach him. And so two weeks ago, we attended his graduation.

I suspect that before I had kids, I would have found the idea of a preschool graduation a little silly. 5-year-olds in caps and gowns? A 40-minute ceremony? What could they do that would take that long. a valedictorian speech? Play musical chairs?

But since it was not just any preschool graduation, but my own Leo’s graduation, I couldn’t be happier that he and his classmates had the opportunity to celebrate all that they’d learned. Most of the kids had been going to school together for years, and the prospect of finishing up there and moving on to kindergarten was a pretty big deal. But more than anything, Leo in a cap and gown? CUTE!

The graduation was held at a banquet hall. I snuck back into the room where the kids were getting ready to snap one quick picture.

The kids entered in pairs while their music teacher played “Pomp and Circumstance” on the piano.

The class of 2023! (Leo is front and center!)

We received a memo before graduation that no flash photography or video would be permitted during the ceremony, as a professional videographer was filming the event. I wouldn’t have used flash anyway, but apparently what the administrators meant was no photography period. I had a little discussion with the assistant director just before the ceremony as she explained they meant no photography PERIOD, as they felt that it was disruptive to the event. I can understand that, if some folks stand up or crouch down, but I promised to stay right in my chair and be very inconspicuous. I felt badly for being difficult, but I sure did want to get some photos of my own of my little graduate. I mostly shot from the hip (meaning I couldn’t see what I was shooting, since I wasn’t looking through the viewfinder).

All I can say is that it was all worth it for this photo:

The kids sang a number of songs. I giggled the most at “I’ve Been Going to My Preschool” sung to the tune of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”

My favorite segment was “When I Grow Up…” Each student stood up and said, “my name is ___ and when I grow up I want to be a ___” There were several cake bakers, a few artists, a number of football players, a clothes designer, a couple engineers, a doctor… I couldn’t wait to hear what Leo would pick, as he’s expressed interest in being a vet, a paleontologist, and my personal favorite, a bat keeper. I admit that I was thinking “please say bat keeper! Please say bat keeper!”

When it was his turn, he said, “my name is Leo, and when I grow up I want to be a…”

PAUSE (Leo looks down at me, sees camera in my lap)

“… a photographer!”


His reaction after making eye contact with me and me beaming a huge smile at him.

I’m fairly certain this was his favorite part of the night, jumping off the stage after the ceremony:

Leo’s teacher, Miss Alyssa.

Jonas’s favorite part was the Graduation Celebration Cupcakes.

Congratulations Leo!