Sunday, June 29, 2014

Graduation Parties are Dumb

With Dancer graduating next year, naturally we know a lot of kids who have graduated in the last couple of years and, in turn, have attended quite a few graduations.

It seems that kids, or at least their parents, start planning their graduation parties during graduation season the year before.  I have also noticed that cake and ham buns just doesn't cut it any more as acceptable graduation fare.  Now they have themes, gourmet food, some kind of bar (candy, ice cream, fish taco, etc.) for guests to graze on while staying at the party for what seems like an appropriate amount of time, bounce houses, petting zoos and even fireworks.

It also seems that no matter how interested I appear to be in the plans for their graduation the dreaded question always comes, "What does Dancer want for her graduation party?"

"Um, she doesn't"

"She doesn't?" they ask with the same disbelief we heard in their voices 13 years ago when we said that she wasn't going to kindergarten because we were going to homeschool.

"No," and this is sort of uncomfortable when we are at a graduation party, "She thinks they are dumb?"

Chirp, chirp, chirp......

So let me explain why she thinks they are dumb.  First, Dancer is not a "look at me, life of the party" kind of girl.  You could go as far as to say she is a bit of an introvert, okay, a lot of an introvert.  She has lots and lots of friends, but you might not hear her talk very much until you have met her a couple of times.  So being the center of attention at a party would be equivalent to having a root canal without Novocain.

Secondly, why would you invite a lot of people over who don't know each other (which is really the case when you homeschool) and you don't really have time to really talk to them?  I never thought of it that way but yes, that does make sense.

I try to explain this to people, which usually results in a little smile and a quick change in conversation.  One parent, however, said that I should force her with the reasoning that she will regret it later in life.

Okay, now I think that is dumb.  I just spent 17 years teaching her to be a critical thinker, not go along with the crowd if she feels differently just because it is the ideas of the majority, to be her own independent person and feel comfortable being that person and to make her own choices.  Why would I, at the end the road, "force" her to have a party?

So will there be a graduation party in honor of Dancer's hard work next year?  I don't know, maybe she will opt to have a few low key bonfires with groups of friends.

And what about Spark?  He is already planning his party and I wouldn't be surprised it included fireworks. And a taco bar.  He's already making a guest list.    


Carolyn said...

Force her, hugh? Pretty ignorant comment from an "adult".

jugglingpaynes said...

Why would you force your child to have a party that you would be responsible for hosting and paying for? Mine are like Dancer, they would hate the party and all of the attention it focuses on them.

I would use the money to offer her something she will enjoy, for example traveling, or set it aside if she plans to go to college (don't push college though. That was the question my daughter got in her junior year and she ended up applying early just so she didn't have to listen to that question anymore. Bad idea to attend college for that reason.)

Thanks for your comment! I completely understand what is going on. As they get older, we get too busy living to post about their life!

Peace and Laughter!