The Graduate

I feel like just yesterday I was sharing your birth story. But now, here we are.  You've been preparing for this for the past 12 years. It's finally your year. So many fun things to come such as senior sunrise, homecoming, senior sunset, Prom, end of year bbq, signing the rock, the senior all-nighter, your Navy swear-in at MEPS, your 18th birthday and graduation. This is for you. You're the graduate.

We should have probably known that something was up last fall when you crawled out of bed at 5 am to go watch the sunrise with the rest of the class of 2020 and the clouds didn't let it happen. No senior sunrise? Bummer, but that's okay. So many more events to come.

I will never forget the day the governor announced that classes were cancelled. I was helping in Tyler's class, doing an art project, and his teacher pulled the press conference up on his laptop.  We listened as we were told that after Monday there would be no classes. I remember him and I looking at each other, and saying, What does this mean for all these kids? He also had a senior at the rivalry high school, and what will happen with graduation? What will happen with the Navy swear in? So many unanswered questions.

That next week we navigated into new unchartered waters. Thankfully you had a pretty laid back schedule your senior year, but if I never have to smell the smell of clay in your bedroom again, that will be okay with me. Watching you build your clay statue in your bedroom is something I never thought would happen. But here I am watching Freddy Kreuger come to life.

The day you left for MEPS was one of the longest days of my life. Not hearing from you for over 24 hours had happened before. You've stayed with friends and family plenty of times. But this time was different. Today a life-altering plan was being made and I was not there to see or hear what was happening.  When you came through the door it was such a relief and the moment you told me you got the rate you wanted made me so incredibly proud of you. I really don't know if I have had a prouder moment than that.

Two weeks after MEPS you turned 18. Of course, we had plans for a party that had already been long ago shot down, but that doesn't mean we aren't celebrating! It was just a little bit of a smaller celebration with Bailey and Grandpa.

Now we are down to the last month of the school year. What is going to happen with Graduation? Do we send out announcements? Do we plan a graduation party? Will we be able to celebrate at all? Thankfully we live in the school district that we do because they did everything they could to make sure you and your classmates felt celebrated. Which honestly, isn't easy with 400 students!

A sign was added to our front yard and you waited for 5 hours in line to get free Krispy Kreme donuts:

All the senior's names were added to the field:

You still got to sign the rock:

And have your senior alumni breakfast, sort of....

They made sure that not only did you have an in-person graduation: 

And your friends got to ride along as you did for theirs: 

But one that was broadcasted for friends and family to see as well: 

And if you'd like to watch graduation over again, find it HERE

Finally, after things hadn't really settled down, we decided to just do a graduation party. Because you need to be celebrated. Sure, fewer people came and it wasn't spent hugging and standing in close quarters. But we are thankful for those that came to show you they care and are proud of you.

After all, you are The Graduate.

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