I have recently come upon the realization that Caleb is no longer a toddler, being the ripe old age of four and all. I still referred to him as my toddler though, having not officially fact checked for when the era of toddler hood officially ends. Then Amy told me, "You know, he's not a toddler anymore. That ends at thirty six months." She would know. I heavily sighed and conceded to this reality, as I could no longer deny it. Despite my lapse in internally releasing him from this toddler hood, he has indeed long since entered the preschool stage. As much as I want my boy to stay my baby, I want even more for him to grow and fly as his own independent person.
I am happy to say that within this month, I have seen the evidence of his growth in two distinct ways. First, Legoland. He rode as many rides as he could, which is an enormous departure from the norm. He has never done that before. His usual norm is that he doesn't have a desire to ride on things at all, even trains. Legoland, he even went on rides that went high up and rotated. He was a little unnerved by these rides, but did it, and did it well. I was delighted to see this change.
The second change I have seen, I witnessed yesterday. Caleb's school had their Preschool graduation, and while Caleb is a year away from his own graduation, he and his class performed quite a bit. Every year the school does their open house performance mid year, and a Christmas show at the end of the year. This was the first time Caleb willingly participated in the performance with his class. Usually he looks like this:
This is his face before the Christmas performance. You'll notice a slight departure from the above photo:
This year he was eager for Open House, he was eager to perform on stage with his friends. They had all practiced a lot, and I am so delighted to see how well he and his classmates did. It really is impressive, and I almost ecstatic to see this growth.
Here is a quick clip of the performance:
The preschool graduation was adorable. I am not one for such events usually. However, all 120 of the kids all worked very hard together for this to run smoothly. It was really, very impressive. The kids were so cute with their speeches and little caps and gowns. Plus, Caleb performed. Unprecedented. So proud.
The last song was my favorite. The kids sang, "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. It was pretty special. At that point however, there were two boxed containers moved in front of the singing children. Instead of belting out more tunes, Caleb's eyes were fixated on those boxes. I could tell he was deeply considering the purpose of the box before him. Why was it there? What was in it? He just couldn't help but dissect the varying possibilities of said mystery box. Well, it turns out that the boxes were filled with doves, which were released after the last song as a surprise for the kids. Yep, doves. At a preschool graduation. I am not a huge fan of random animal displays for ceremonial purposes, but at least the kids were a fan. I mean, it didn't go so well when Oral Robert's University released a flying eagle inside an enclosed auditorium to kick off their Fall semester. Not so brilliant of a plan. The poor bird crashed into a window as the students shouted, "USA! USA!" Out of control.
Anyway, the eagle, named Lewis, was fine and flew again two days later at a separate (outdoor) event. The doves at Caleb's thing is a different story. It is just a little funny.
After the graduation, all the children, graduate or not, got a sugar cookie and lemonade, as well as their own balloon.
Hopeful and looking forward to another successful go at it come Christmas time. :)