My son graduated in March from elementary school.  (Graduation is in March in Japan.)  The poster below says, “Sotsugyou Omedetou” 卒業 おめでとう  Literally,  Graduation Congratulations.

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The number of students enrolled in each grade.  Very small school.  His jhs is MUCH larger.  Six classes of first year students.  So he is a fish moving from a little pond to a big pond.

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Goodbye, School!

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Farewell, Classroom!

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The last six years have rushed by too quickly.

My little boy is growing up.  I feel bittersweet about it.  Happy of course, and a bit sad.  But mostly happy.  A lot of people seem to think that it will be hard for me to separate from him.  But I want him to grow strong and independent.  I don’t want him to be a momma’s boy.

I’ve taken him by the hand….and when it’s time to let go, we let go.  It’s not really time yet because he still takes me by the hand.  I occasionally embarrass him with my gaijin bumpkiness, but generally he loves being with me and he often takes my hand and holds it as we saunter along.  So when he is ready to let go, we let go.   But not until then.  He decides.   Not me.

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A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.

~~Walt Whitman