Touch of Spice: All the world is a stage


Katie has been begging for her turn in the spotlight since she attended Nikki's preschool program.

Seeing her sister on stage and hearing the applause awakened a bug that I didn't even know Katie had. Sure, she gets her share of attention as the family drama queen, but she's not a child to share a new song with her mother, let alone an audience.

Nikki's 15 minutes of fame changed that.

Now, when I'm sitting in the living room and the girls are outside on the swing, I can hear Katie's very loud (and not quite in tune, though I'd NEVER say that) rendition of her favorite song "8th World Wonder."

She continues to ask me when she's going to have a performnance (no, that's not a typo, that's how she says it).

Her time is fast approaching. Her moment to shine will be in less than a week when she graduates.

Yes, graduates.

Granted, it's bound to be adorable, but my heart isn't exactly bursting with pride that my 5-year-old made it through kindergarten. Not to discount the experience or anything, but, well ... we are talking kindergarten here. Count, share, play nice, learn the alphabet song, graduate. If there's a class ranking, it factors in the number of nose-picking incidents and the ability to button one's own pants.

There are no grades, it's kind of a pass/fail thing -- except in kindergarten isn't that cruel. You don't fail, you need time to develop the skill. You don't pass, you have satisfactorily mastered a skill. There's even a middle ground "needs improvement," which means you can do it -- sort of.

So, in terms of graduation, what exactly are we celebrating? And the entire concept begs the question: Do all of these little graduations undermine the affect of the big "G"?

OK, that's how I felt about the whole concept before I had kids.

I've invested $6 in the cap and the camera's batteries will be charged by next Wednesday when Katie walks. I'm terribly excited to see this little milestone. I think it's mostly because Katie's excited and she's only excited because graduation (she's working very hard to learn that word) means that mommy will be sitting in the audience with a mile-wide smile and clapping whether she sings loud enough to be heard or not.

I'll sit there and revel in her glee and I'll believe that she'll be 5 years old forever.

I won't consider that the next graduation I sit through, I'll be wondering where the time went and berating myself for the opportunities I missed.

Katie's ceremony -- her graduation from kindergarten -- will be my chance to advance, as well. I'll resolve to make the most of every minute I have with my girls. It will be my time to set priorities and to make promises, both to them and to myself.

After all, when all is said and done, I'd like to have a performance that my children can applaud, too.

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