As an educator and a mom of a senior, the abrupt close of the school year has been hard. On March 13th when we were told schools would close down the following Monday, I had no idea what exactly that would entail. I came home to a daughter dressed in her beautiful red satin dress, with her hair fixed and makeup done, for what should have been her senior prom. Instead of coming home to take pictures, I came home and had to deliver the bad news. Her prom was more than likely not going to take place. "You are kidding me!" It absolutely broke my heart to have to tell her I was definitely not kidding.
It wasn't long after that, when the reality of the end of the school year started to become more evident. Not only was there not going to be a prom, there would more than likely not be a graduation. Between prom and graduation so many things were to happen to wrap up the year. The senior trip would have to be cancelled - club awards would not take place - the end of the year school play (Grease) would not go on - the spirit stick picnic (usually won by seniors) would not happen - yearbooks could not be signed in large groups of friends - and I am sure there are a million more things I don't know about.
This has been hard on everyone. It is important that we allow everyone to "grieve" the way they need to. This especially applies to our seniors and school aged children. As adults we have life experiences that our children do not have. Although we don't have all of the answers yet, we know from experience that this too shall pass. Many of us have lived through Katrina. Those days seemed nearly impossible to get through. Yet here we are today, almost 15 years later, and we have moved beyond that horrific time in our lives. For our children, this is the first time they are going through something so devastating. My best advice is to just be there. Be there if they need to cry - be there if they need to get mad - be there if they just need a hug. They will never get these moments back, and as parents, we want to "fix" that for them. That is what parents do - we fix things. Hang in there!
Growing up I would turn to my grandma (Mawsy) when things got the best of me. She always hated to see me upset, but never seemed to know exactly what to do to help me. Her famous response was always, "Kelli, this too, shall pass". I didn't understand that when I was young (the age of our Seniors). It almost seemed as if she was telling me to put my big girl panties on. It took me a while, but I finally understand the full meaning of that very simple statement. She wasn't trying to tell me to get over it. She was trying to tell me she had been through lots of life experiences, and this one will just be one I have to work through. Yes, our seniors will have to work through this one, the best way they can. But with a little help from from family and friends, "this too, shall pass".