Graduation from Pre-K is certainly a milestone moment in any child’s life. It is the parents’ first taste of the bittersweet reality that their little baby is growing up. It’s not unusual to see parents with a tear trickling down their face at Pre-K graduation. When Derek Smith, started to cry at his little sister’s Pre-K graduation, his sister, his parents, and countless people on the Internet all began to cry tears of joy and pride with him. What brought the eight-year-old big brother to tears?
Mom Tells The Story
Aundrea Tabbs-Smith is the mother of the two viral children, Derek, the big brother, and Charlee the graduation girl. Her husband, Mike, was also in attendance at the graduation. Their family’s touching story started making its way around the world when Aundrea, an author and advocate for diversity in education, shared it with her nearly 5,000 Instagram followers.
She explains, “Today my daughter graduated from Pre-K. After the ceremony, my son walked up to her and gave her a hug. ‘I’m just so proud of you,’ he said. Then of course my daughter started crying. As we wiped away our tears, my husband asked her, ‘Pumpkin, why are you crying?’ She responded, ‘I’m just so happy.’ We are so blessed.”
A Chain Of Tears
Aundrea’s original post resonated with thousands of people online. It received almost 30,000 likes and 2,000 comments. Since then, several news outlets have reached out to the Smith family for interviews. Since the children are so young, the parents have taken measures to maintain their privacy. The parents have done more print interviews than television appearances, and the children have not done any further interviews.
Aundrea says that her family has always been very in tune with their emotions. She and her husband have taught their children from an early age that it is ok to cry and express emotion, and they have made an effort to lead by example. In fact, her husband, Mike, was the first person crying at Charlee’s graduation. It only made Mike cry harder to see his son being so emotional. Charlee cried when she noticed her brother crying, and seeing how much her son cares for her daughter brought Aundrea to tears.
A Close Friendship
At five and eight years old, most siblings cannot stand each other, but that is not the case for Derek and Charlee. The two have always been very close. Derek dotes over his younger sister, and Charlee wants to be just like Derek. Charlee has always been Derek’s biggest cheerleader, so it was an especially touching moment for Derek to be congratulating Charlee.
Aundrea’s followers on Instagram had plenty of emotional reactions to her post. Mimi Hanna on Instagram says, “To Precious I want to see their Highschool graduation and college graduation photos to go with this photo I have faith they will succeed.” Avis Belle comments, “This is the most wonderful picture I’ve seen in a very long time! I am crying right along with them! Blessed indeed!”
People on Facebook have shared in the happy tears:
If there was ever a good reason for a whole family to cry, this is certainly one of them. The Smith family shows that children can still be raised to be aware of their own emotions and to care deeply for others despite the fast-paced, self-centered world we live in. Stories of children misbehaving make the news far too often. It is refreshing to see children who are doing something so incredibly positive. We are sure that Derek and Charlee will go on to be great classmates for their peers and great citizen as they grow older.
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