The Senior Moms of the Class of 2020 Speak
COVID-19 has taken a lot of things from a lot of folks – health, economic security, normal routines, and freedoms we normally take for granted. Weddings have been postponed or gone “virtual.” Families are unable to have memorials and funerals for their loved ones. Some are overwhelmed by their “essential” work and others find that their life's work has been declared “unessential.” This virus is taking a toll on all of us.
There is one group, however, I would like to specifically recognize who are affected at this time because of the need for “social distancing.”
This group is the high school senior class of 2020 and their parents. High school graduation is a milestone and rite of passage. It is a time when children are celebrated for the accomplishment of finishing twelve years of school and look forward with excitement and trepidation toward their futures. The ceremony and accompanying celebrations and activities signify the leap between childhood and adulthood. Life is never exactly the same for a high school graduate. Many leave home and take up residence at a college, often times miles and many states away. Others join the workforce. Some stay home, but their family dynamic is different.
The class of 2020 and their parents,, while acknowledging the tragedy of this time and understanding the need for cancellations, are sad. They are missing out on activities they have looked forward to for many years. The prayer is that many activities will be able to go on later in the summer, but they know even that may not happen. This post is an opportunity for these moms to speak about how they are feeling and how they are handling the disruption and disappointment and even share some unexpected positives.
More graduation posts:
Senior Moms of 2020 Speak about Cancelled Activities
Spring Sports are cancelled
My son has played baseball since he was 3. My little family may have missed the opportunity for family vacations to National Parks, cruises and theme parks, but I assure we have memories that are just as cherished. We spent hours together eating homemade sandwiches out of a cooler, huddled under a shade tree in between games. We were together every weekend. It didn’t take me long to develop an understanding and deep love for baseball. Watching him get the hit or come up with an unbelievable catch at third and launch it to first for the out was exciting and rewarding. To see your child receive the reward of his hard work is better than any trophy I could have ever won. Watching him develop a work ethic that he will carry the rest of his life is winning. Watching him learn the coping skills to face defeat and become a stronger man for it – that is winning.
It’s been hard to watch his Senior year slip away like the water down a drain just watching it circle and then disappear. The games, gone, the banquet, gone, Senior night gone. When you ask him it’s different. He misses the time spent with his friends, his brothers. The pregame rituals, the slow walk to the mound to give a few encouraging words to the pitcher, the chatter in the dugout. He misses the adrenaline of playing, coming at bat, stealing bases. Pepe is quiet In his thoughts and private about his feelings He is intentional in his words so when he says this hurts I know it is painful. Parents spend a lifetime protecting their children but how do you fix this? You can’t.
My contribution to my son’s life has mostly been providing for the needs that he doesn’t even know he has – making sure he has clean clothes, uniforms for baseball, a cold Gatorade in the cup holder of his car before he leaves for practice, a quick slip of cash for whatever he may need. I don’t know that all of the contributions that I provide go noticed at this age but one day they will, I believe when he has kid of his own.
The BIGGER thing I have done to honor my Senior is hang his jersey and hat on the front door in homage of his baseball season cut too short. (See the picture of her door here). He doesn’t follow my social media but there have been numerous posts and I changed my profile picture to him. I share and post numerous tributes to the impact of this year lost.
It is in the small things that are most meaningful to him and me. Now that I am working from home we are able to share coffee every morning. We sit at the kitchen table and talk, I listen and hear the thoughts he has on the world we are living in. I make him breakfast and some mornings he makes breakfast for me while I am sitting at my computer but I always stop and share this special time with him. He is physically in the house more than he has ever been. I go to his room and sit on his bed and we talk. For the first time in I cannot remember we aren’t rushed to get somewhere. We are taking advantage of the slower pace. Don’t get me wrong we both would give anything to be at the ball field, but we can’t live in that darkness and despair. He walks past me in the hall and I grab him and hold him and tell him I love him. He gives me a hug while I sit at my computer and asks me, “Can I get you anything?” I use my words to tell him how proud I am of him and the choices he has made with his life and what the last few weeks and months to come will not erase what he has worked so hard for.
We are a faithful family and we are holding onto that God has some really BIG plans for his life and this is a stepping stone in that journey. I am sharing space with my son and listening to him, his opinions, thoughts and views. It is priceless time. We have conversations about what college was like for me and what I experienced, conversations that likely would have never happened. These sound like simple things but when you have a family with kids that are in highly competitive activities and both parents work and a full-time household to maintain time together is extremely limited.
My sister had scheduled a trip to Italy, his choice for any destination in the world for his Senior Trip, now canceled. I had a Senior party scheduled, invitations printed, canceled. My family from across the country planned to be here for his series of graduation celebrations all canceled. We are hopeful these celebrations are delayed and not truly canceled. He remains hopeful about all of it. There was an incredible baseball video made by a friend. I watch it every day. I cry every single time I watch it. Pepe doesn’t allow his thoughts and feelings to stay in the darkness and regret. We talk about what lies ahead in his future and we are both looking forward to the full life he has ahead. We know there are much bigger problems in the world and we are safe in our home and have resources to provide for one another, we are the lucky ones.
Ashlie C., Owasso, Oklahoma
Virtual is Just Not the Same
Sigh……it stinks. There’s really just no other way to describe it except that the ending to this Senior year stinks.
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