Mary proceeds to tell me that other little girls are getting limo rides and cell phones. My wife suggests getting Grace a $300-plus bike. I tell her to ask our older daughter, Riley, for her input. She's sixteen.
Mary asks Riley what we should get Grace for "graduation." She retorts, "Why? You didn't get me anything."
True, we didn't. Why? Because although it was a cool reason to celebrate, it wasn't an accomplishment. To move on from elementary school (notice I didn't say "graduate") all you have to do is live long enough. I have taught elementary school for eighteen years, and retaining a student is very rare. Kids get passed on because of their size, their birth date, if they get special services, if they don't wear their glasses, if they are in line to be tested.
Mary says to Riley, "We learned from our mistake with you. We should get your sister a gift."
Grace does work hard, though. She's a great student and she deserves to move on, but again, it's not an accomplishment, because pretty much everyone moves on. Would you buy your kid an outfit because her wisdom teeth came in? Of course not. It just happens because she's lived long enough. It's inevitable...just like moving from sixth grade to seventh.
So, a card? Yes. Maybe some flowers? Okay. But a limo, cell phone or a bike? I don't think so.
I know there are many who disagree with me. I want to hear from you. What do you think parents should do for passing sixth grade?