What an amazing year 2020 has been so far—the fear, the pandemic, the sheltering in place, the masks, the family time!
This year has been so many different things, amazing would not be the first word I would choose, but I’ll get back to that one later.
My experience happens to be with a graduating Senior. Where do I even begin? Let’s start in March, after that first phone call.
First, I would say confusion took over. Wait, they can’t go to school? Ok, right. Well once that gets worked out, and after a week or two of heavy cleaning and a plan, they’ll be back, and that little blip in the year will be gone. Phew! I can continue to live my life whether it’s working for a company full time or as a full time mom, it’s still nice to have that time back.
But wait… Just received another phone call and it turns out they are now out for the rest of the school year. Excuse me while I lock myself in a closet with a bottle of wine and literally contemplate what the next few months looks like. My husband and I, who normally go to work every day, are already working from home, sharing our dining room table. But now we will be constantly working together…with two teenagers. Seriously?
In my mind, my amazing son, who is graduating with honors and who has worked so hard for the past four years should be marching up to accept his diploma, with his whole family who has flown in from California to watch and cheer him on, to acknowledge the amount of work he’s put in, the number of accolades he has achieved. There will be proms, grad nights, senior cut day, honors nights… all the things that every senior deserves, and more.
Now, none of that is going to happen. No graduation. No graduation? After all the blood sweat and tears he has put into these last four years? WHAT? Ok… focus Christy. I may not be able to fix the world. But, I can fix his big day.
Enter, Amazon. Order lots of decorations and have a backyard graduation party with my son, and of course, my husband and I. For the virtual graduation we literally made him walk up to the TV to accept his diploma. I see nothing wrong with that. Desperate times, desperate (mom) measures, right? Oh the memories we made by forcing this upon him! We had an honorable dinner and dessert and showered him with gifts that we never would have gotten for him if this whole situation had been stable. A car? SURE! (It’s a $1,200 Civic bought from a friend, but it’s a CAR! With a bow!) Check! Laptop for college? Check! What else can we do to help you feel like you’ve had the best graduation ever while in quarantine?
Sound familiar? Did anyone else out there totally overcompensate for the lack of what you thought should be the best day of your senior’s life?
Maybe I’m totally off point and everyone else has handled this with wisdom and a kind of “I got this” coolness I’ve wanted since second grade. But I went a bit off the rails, in my head. Again, that’s important. No one in the house knew I was experiencing these feelings. These were the feelings I experienced in bed at night instead of sleeping.
But now, it’s June. The end is near. Sounds dramatic, but it really is for some. I can’t help but think about where we will be once he leaves in August.
In October, I will miss him for Halloween, but that’s ok, my daughter likes to hand out candy at home while we ‘hand out candy’ with our adult friends down the street (normally includes listening to music, maybe consuming adult beverages and keeping the front porch lights out. No judging please, my son just left me forever).
November… this is the month. I think it’s required for our college kids to return for Thanksgiving to be with the family. It’s written in the handbook, I’m sure, with the Christmas and New Year’s requirements as well. (I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m sure it exists). This will be the month I look forward to the most. A few weeks home with my son, my family together again. Obviously if anyone asks him to do otherwise, he will happily tell them this is his mom’s (family’s?) time. He will want to spend all of that time with me (us), playing Dominoes, Pickleball, Chess (just kidding—we are not that intelligent), taking walks around the wonderful place we are lucky enough to live in, Peachtree City. Maybe he’ll go back to school for a few weeks to tie up some loose ends, but then he’ll be back home to me (us). And then, the cycle will begin again.
There really is a point to my 2 a.m. rambling I have decided to share with you.
To bring it full circle, although there have been some aches and pains, it has been an amazing year. We were able to spend his last months as a Senior together as a family. And when I say “together,” please know, I mean it. Constantly, together. But I will miss his constant hover-boarding around our (very small) house yelling out ‘MA! MA!’ over and over (and over) for a reason I have yet to figure out. I will miss him standing directly behind me without me knowing and giving me a heart attack when I turn around to find him an inch from my face. I will miss him not eating his vegetables (Ok though, really, when do they grow out of that?!) I will miss him sharing what he learned in school that day, but somehow knowing to only bring up topics that would interest me. I will miss trying to have alone time and him skidding into my room and flopping down onto the bed to tell me absolutely nothing. I will miss him flipping his hair, and me always wondering why he was taking a picture of himself eating cereal, until I figured out that’s what you do on Snapchat. I will miss his everything. His wit, his sense of humor, his silliness, his seeking advice. I will miss so much. And for that I am so grateful for what 2020 did for us. It gave me these last few months, when he would have been with his friends every night and weekend. It gave us time to talk, play, work together, spend quality time together, that I never would have had if 2020 had not thrown us such a curveball.
Some people have every reason to look at the bad, if they have lost someone or have had tragedies (we definitely had a couple). But in the end, I could not be happier with 2020. When my son leaves for college, I know he will leave as a better man, person, son and brother because of this time we were granted.
Good Luck to our graduates. I hope you can see the good in this crazy experience we call 2020.