A milestone took place Wednesday that filled me with pride. There will be many such occasions to come, to be sure, but I’ll probably always remember the day Grace graduated from Hi Ho Pre-School.

It was a dreary, chilly morning, as everyone around Worthington knows. Zach was up at 5:30 a.m. calling for me, but fortunately he fell back asleep until the much more reasonable time of quarter after six. Grace, as is her way, was just about instantaneously awake when Zach was lifted from his crib. She doesn’t dare miss a second of the action.

At about 7:15 a.m. or so, pandemonium took place in our home. Becca’s parents pulled into the driveway and called us, asking us to put Grace on the line. Becca’s mom went on to congratulate her on her big day, and said they were sorry that they couldn’t be there for the graduation and hoped to come next year for kindergarten graduation. (Grace had no idea any of this was coming). Then, Grace was told to look in the driveway, and that’s when she started jumping up and down and screaming. Grandma and Papa were here! (Of course, the Z-man was excited, too!)

I went to work, and Becca – along with her parents and Zach – took Grace over to Hi Ho for the pre-school graduation extravaganza, and I met them there in time for the 10 a.m. start. The program was a decidely cute affair – no surprise there. After a few remarks from Tracie Luinenburg (one of the two teachers at the pre-school), the fun started with songs that included the school theme ("Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to school we go, we work and play most every day …" ), "Count to 100," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," a selection with "rhythm sticks" and more. Grace alternated between beaming ear to ear, singing and shyly sucking on her thumb (I think is a nervous tic of some sort) throughout the proceedings.

After the songs were done, the graduating pre-schoolers were ushered to the front and center, where they were fitted with plastic blue caps with tassels and awarded their certificates. That was followed by a slide show with highlights of the school year, which featured photos of trips to the hospital and much more. And then, the show was over – much to Zach’s happiness, as he was great for most of the program but getting a wee bit antsy toward its finale.

We enjoyed a small snack afterward and, naturally, a fair share of photos were taken that I’ve since posted on my Facebook page. Above all, Grace is truly excited to be heading on to kindergarten, and we’re excited for her – though we’d be lying if we said we weren’t at all sad about her growing up so quickly.