Dear 2020 Senior Parents,
We are not trying to rush you along.
We are the parents of the class of 2021, and as we open the door on our kids’ senior year, we promise: we’re not hurrying to close the door on yours.
We understand that it might feel that way, though. We admit we’re working pretty hard to drum up some excitement for our future grads. We don’t deny that we’re trying to ignore all the posts about how our kids will have it “even worse” than yours by posting our declarations of hope and commitment. We’ve been waiting for this season for a long time. Whatever it ends up looking like, we’re ready to do our best to make the most of it.
You are still celebrating your kids, we get that
But we know you are still celebrating and honoring your current graduates. This is still their year, and yours with them. They are still center stage.
From our vantage point—waiting in the wings—we are happy for you, and we hurt for you.
We’ve seen and loved your pictures of your students: senior pictures and at-home prom pictures and alone-on-the-football-field pictures and drive-by/drive-up graduation pictures. We’ve liked them and filed them mentally away for possible future reference.
We’ve read what you’ve written about what your seniors missed, as each piece of the incomplete puzzle fell into (or out of, as the case may be) place and wondered if we’d be putting together a similar puzzle ourselves this new school year.
We’ve been watching all the things you’ve done to honor your 2020 graduates
And we’ve read your sweet shout-outs to your kids who rose above everything that tried to drag them down and showed again and again why they deserved to be honored and recognized.
We know—or maybe imagine is a more accurate word—that you’re still celebrating even now. Some of you are having delayed graduation ceremonies and parties. Some of you are giving thanks for your children’s new jobs or college dreams that have come true after all.
We imagine you’re still grieving. We imagine you’re mourning all the goodbyes left unsaid and all the lasts left hanging, like notes of a permanently unfinished symphony. You’re mourning early cancellations and eventual, regretful decisions not to hold events that, for a while, seemed like they might still happen.
We imagine you’re still waiting. Waiting on answers. Waiting on decisions. Waiting on plan C or D…or Z, after plans A and B fell through.
We imagine you’re still hoping. Hoping for good news. Hoping for some definitive “yes.” Hoping for progress. Hoping for tears of joy instead of tears of frustration or sadness.
We imagine you’re still honoring. Honoring your graduates. Honoring their hard work and their accomplishments and their records and their resilience.
We imagine you’re still looking back. Looking back on this year. Looking back on all the years before it. Looking back on sports seasons and concerts and recitals and competitions and performances and shows that went on. Looking back on friends and teammates. Looking back on teachers and coaches. Looking back on all the experiences that shaped who your graduate has become.
We imagine you’re still looking forward. Forward to what all the things you’ve looked back on can still lead to. Forward to days you’ll want to remember, in years to come.
We imagine you’re still wanting. Wanting a do-over. Wanting explanations. Wanting more of some things and less of others.
We imagine you’re still having. Having hope. Having pride.
There is still so much we don’t know
We know (this we don’t have to imagine) there’s so much we have no idea about. You are our teachers in a class you never even wanted to take. You taught us perseverance, creativity, dedication, and determination, all for the good of the students you love and believe in. We will continue to learn from you.
You started this race, which seemed to begin as a sprint but quickly turned into a marathon. When the right time comes for you to hand us the baton, we will try to keep running it well.
And as we get ready to honor our students, please know this: we will continue to honor yours.
With respect and gratitude,
The Parents of the Class of 2021
More to Read:
Mama, You Say You’ll Miss Me But I’m Going to Miss You, Too We miss our teens when they leave home, but they miss us too.
Can We give This Year’s Seniors a Chance to Love Their Senior Year? Read Elizabeth Spencer’s beautiful essay of encouragement for the Class of 2021.