Guest blogger Dani: "It is good to be 14 and graduating from eighth grade," reads the opening line of an article in the New York Times that caught my eye Sunday morning.
I had just survived the bacchanalia that followed my son's graduation from preschool. Yes, I am the proud parent of a preschool graduate and much hoopla was made of this.
"This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen," my mother mumbled at the final blowout. She was visiting and wasn't prepared for the two story "bouncy" and catered-with-an-ice-cream-truck affair she found herself attending.
"It's out of a movie," she said, sipping chardonnay from a plastic cup that read, "Congratulations Class of '08."
The question raised by The New York Times and answered by a number of people including Barack Obama is, how much celebration of educational rites of passage is too much? (The article makes no mention of preschool.)
Is it possible that making a huge deal about graduations prior to high school, and hopefully college, gives kids a premature sense of accomplishment?
Instead of "Congratulations, keep going!" is it saying, "Congratulations, you've peaked!"?
I apply the theory of retributive justice where celebratory partying is concerned. Traditionally applied to ethics and law, its key assertion is that the punishment should fit the crime; proportionality is all.
Which is why earlier in the week my son and his friends enjoyed a Slip n' Slide n' Frozen Pizza party in our back yard.