My graduate, with the graduation cake we made together. It was not great. Too dry. Too much icing. But we had fun making it, and it was his design. The photo is blurry because my younger son was doing cannonballs off the couch while I shot this. I don’t have any cap and gown photos because I was too busy wringing my hands and thinking about life during the ceremony. (Fortunately, my husband got a ton of pics.)

My son graduated yesterday from preschool.

I know. I know.

Preschool graduation? So silly. I would have said the same thing a few years ago. But yesterday was totally adorable. Caps and gowns on little people! Hard not to smile. (Fine. I wept, but I cry easily.)

The director of our school gave a short, heartfelt speech to the parents, talking about how the child you see in front of you today is not the same kid you’ll see tomorrow.

If you said that to me on certain days, I’d say, “GOOD! I’M OVER THIS.”

“This” being parenthood and all its responsibilities.

When I heard him say that yesterday, though, I nodded along. I think about what my son has learned in the past few years and I’m amazed: Language. Self-control. Kindness. Friendship. Soccer moves. Every single dinosaur name and Pokémon character. Very specific facts about the blue dasher dragonfly. What a delight to have this kid, and to get to learn alongside him.

Maybe all this delight and fun balance out one of the big bummers of parenthood, which, in my mind is: If I do my job really, really, really well, the end goal is to work myself out of a job. Each day they change a little more, and if we’re lucky and if we’re working hard, each day, they need us less. Wah. I used to hate the children’s book “Love You Forever,” but last night I hauled Luke onto my lap and said, “You’ll always be my baby.”

Of course, he won’t always be my baby. He’s not even my baby now. Wah wah.

But I’m feeling grateful today for the people at our school who planned such a sweet ceremony, and who understood better than I did why such “little” milestones matter. It’s a cliché but MAN. They do grow up fast.