End of the year traditions
At the end of every school year, when the kids come to pick up their report cards I take a photo of the group and then email a letter to parents congratulating them on all THEIR hard work. I think that parenting, and educating is like the lighting guy on a theatrical stage. It just kind of happens and no one notices (if it’s done well). So the parents are busy working their tails off getting their kids through, feeding them, supporting them, worrying about them. No one really notices what the parents did because it’s all about the kids.
So, here is the letter to the parents:
Dear Parents and Guardians
It’s the end of the school year, but it’s also the end of an era. Your child is no longer a high school student. They made it. They did indeed. And, they made it through one of the strangest times in my 25 year career. The pandemic rained on their parade but they pulled out the metaphorical umbrella you handed them and carried on.
From where I sit I’m pretty proud of how they managed everything. Change was a regular occurrence in so many aspects from how they were educated, extra curricular experiences, home life, and social restrictions at a time in their lives where social growth and practice is so very important. Knowing they can tuck and roll to get through is really a skill they will use in the future. Transitions posed too often has stretched their muscles for change which, if you think about it, is actually quite a gift considering they are transitioning on to the next phase: work, relationships, university, polytechnic schools.
As you watch them over the next few days, walking across the stage, getting diplomas, having intimate family dinners, getting photos to commemorate these days, hit your pause button and take it all in friends. Your younglings are slowly evolving into lovely young adults, rookies at the gate of adulthood.
And while you are enjoying these moments remember them as little ones, just starting school, delicately awkward, back packs too big for their five years old forms. Nervous. Excited. Thrilled. Maybe crying. Savor the lingering flavors of their education from beginning to end.
Lastly, please, raise a glass to yourselves. You have worked so very hard in a role that is essentially thankless—a job you don’t even know you’re doing right most days keeping them fed and entertained. You have nurtured, consoled and kept delivering those jokes even though they got eye rolls every time. You are funny. I promise you. They will tell you later. You have nagged and probably screamed. Hell, we all have to yell sometimes. You acted brave during the pandemic when your heart was palpitating with worry to keep them calm. Adults, although the work you have done to keep your teen on track is immeasurable I want to tell you that you deserve a cheers for raising some pretty sweet kids.