Let me say from the beginning that I am proud of my children and their accomplishments, and I waste few opportunities to brag about the academic, artistic, and employment successes achieved by my kids. Furthermore, I listen politely when I encounter parents who are similarly enthusiastic about their progeny.
Yet I am a bit skeptical of the profusion of yard signs touting a new kindergartner entering school. After all, starting elementary school is hardly much of an accomplishment in a literate society. True, it is important to promote learning and scholarship, and to instill the value of education in our youth, but celebrating the start of kindergarten is like putting a medal around the neck of an Olympic hurdler for tying his shoelaces.
I also believe that a "Kindergarten Kid" yard sign will have scant influence on a child born to parents who place little or no value on reading, writing, and education. Children model their behavior on what they experience in their formative years, and if Mom and Dad are television addicts whose idea of reading does not extend beyond TV Guide, all the feel-good lawn signs in the world will not turn Kaitlyn and Connor and Hannah and Jayden into Rhodes scholars.
Once was the day in which parents silently shed tears over their babies growing up and starting school. Now we sing and dance over the mundane; will we next begin holding "starting school" parties for the over-pampered urchins, fêting them with presents, clowns, and pastries just because they are officially a part of the machine?
And, in a more sinister vein: do we really want to be broadcasting to potential pedophiles the location of the homes where small children reside? Now, I suspect that pedophiles are skilled at locating victims, and the presence of a seemingly inoccuous sign like "Kindergarten Kid" is not much of a tip-off, but do we have to make it any easier for pedos in their search for prey?
For all of you who are proud of the fact that Brianna and Aiden have achieved this important milestone of starting kindergarten, please forgive my peevishness, but know that I will be much more impressed when your little angels finish college and begin to contribute to society.