Yesterday was fury. Today is grief. Can tomorrow be joy, please? Or peace? Or even numbness? I’m also willing to consider disinterest or indifference.
Today, though. Blerg.
I remember the first day of kindergarten for this kid.
It was 2007, she was five years old, and she was officially part of the high school Class of 2020.
There were signs — WELCOME, CLASS OF 2020 — and news articles.
Clear vision, bright futures for these babies born just after 9/11.
And a rough road for this one.
She’s navigated it, though. Developmental and learning disabilities. Countless I.E.P. meetings. A few suspensions while she learned the tough lessons that there are consequences for some of our more nefarious, less kind actions.
But SHE DID IT. It was harder for her than for others, and she did it anyway. I COULD NOT BE MORE PROUD OF THIS CHILD. She can do hard things. She’s proven it again and again. And she’s supposed to graduate in June. A marker of all she’s worked so hard to accomplish.
Today, though, Oregon schools officially closed for the remainder of the school year. No prom. No good-byes. No yearbook signings. No hugs from teachers. Just an abrupt halt and a murky future. What are the next steps? No one knows.
Yes, we knew it was coming. But no, that doesn’t make it easier.
So today I’m sad. For her. For her peers. For their dedicated teachers who are also torn up by this. For all of the bright and beautiful Class of 2020.
And I’m sad for my kids who are part of the college Class of 2020, too.
Who won’t get to walk for graduation. Or have their parents and grandparents travel to celebrate. There will be no parties with peers or final gatherings on the beach. No moving of the tassels or tossing of the mortar boards.
Just quietly finishing classes online, packing up alone, and flying home to live with us indefinitely. No jobs available, and, when they are, a workforce of millions applying for them. College loans to pay without a way to pay them. No government stimulus checks for them at all. The wedding they’ve planned for June? Who knows? The honeymoon? Unlikely.
Life on hold.
In about five weeks, we’ll have a house of seven again. Greg and me, three of our four adult children, and … are they officially 8th grade now?… teenage twins whose peer relationships have moved online.
And we’re the lucky ones because — for now — our shelter and food supply aren’t threatened. For the foreseeable future, we keep our house and heat and beds and bread. And we have each other. I’m grateful for all those things. I really am.
Also, I’m sad, Diary.
P.S. Today’s also the day Bernie Sanders left the race for the Democratic nomination for president. Joe Biden will be the candidate opposing Trump. Neither Sanders nor Biden was my first choice. Or my second. Or my third. Or my fourth or fifth. But I want to acknowledge the sadness Bernie supporters are feeling today. It’s a huge blow to have someone who gave you hope of change to be stepping down. Sending my love to you. We can move forward together another day on rallying the vote to defeat Trump. For today, I’m sad with you in solidarity. ❤️
P.P.S. I’m going to go make cookie dough and stand in the sun.
P.P.P.S. Waving in the dark, friends.