I know a sixth grade graduation doesn’t sound like a big deal. But, when you’re in a school that ends at grade six and it’s what you’ve thought about for the past six years as you looked up to the sixth graders… just waiting to become them… it IS a big deal.
Now, let’s add a layer on top of that — the sixth grade is becoming part of the middle school (it will be grades 6,7 and 8) in the fall. Oh, and while we are at it, let’s add one more layer – keeping in mind you are a new 12 year old — the school has spent the last several months telling you that YOU are a very special part of history. You, as a sixth grader will have your legacy in the school because you will be the last official graduating class. Again, you’re 12. And, at that age, it’s pretty much the biggest thing that’s ever happened to you. You are important when you reach that milestone. You have been working six years to be that important and that “old” and now you are.
So, when I say that a six grade graduation isn’t a big deal — and I do understand that a senior in high school or a senior in college missing a graduation right now is a very big deal — make no mistake, I can keep it in context. But, to a 12-year-old it IS A REALLY big deal BECAUSE they are 12!
Shea’s school is a small Catholic school. At the end of the year families make many choices on where their child will go to school the following year. She is watching many friends go in new directions next fall (assuming they go).
Anyway, the point of this post was that I think so many schools are going above and beyond to make sure that these days are special for these kids. We are in weird times and schools, along with people, should not be judged on how they handle this novel way of how they are addressing life today. Shea’s school was no exception. The school is known for it’s amazing community and how much the parents, and the administration, are involved with the kids over the years. The parking lot graduation was unique, it was fun, it was intimate, and between the priest, the administration, the teachers, and the parents and families (and even the neighbors) it was a very special night.
I suspect that these last few months will be days that my kids tell their kids about, because they remember. I often think that the strange things we can actually remember through life are way cooler than all the little things we jam our schedules and life with to over-occupy ourselves and be “fashionably busy” through social expectations.
Earlier in the morning about 16 of the 22 girls drove out to Milford – where we live – and had a graduation breakfast. It was great. And, given that most of the kids hadn’t seen each other since March it was a great lead-in to the evening. Shea was so proud of her friends and her special day. The fact that we could just lean on the horn to cheer people on was very exciting. The speeches, the singing, and awards ending in a neighborhood parade were fantastic. In Saint Chris fashion the night was impeccable and very happy.