It may not have been the norm.
It wasn't sitting in an auditorium.
It wasn't a huge Grad banquet.
But what it was... it was original & all their own.
No class before them or after them will have the great unique story for how their Grad's unfolded.
We have a son who would have enjoyed all these traditional Grad ceremonies.
He was to be super honest, upset that he was not going to have all these memories to cherish.
I think I was a little upset by it too.
We were just about to buy him his suit to wear for Grad when all this pandemic stuff was laid at our feet. So no Grad & no suit. It was basic Math.
Pandemic = No Grad!
So all we could do is tell him that we would try to do something special for him.
Something that was all his own.
Our original plan was to get a gown & cap from his school & do our own version of Grad in our backyard with our cohort family standing in the back & applauding for him. We were also going to have our daughter (a music major) play Pomp & Circumstance on her French Horn.
You know as parents you want to do what you can to make sure your child is celebrated & loved.
That is exactly what we were going to try to do.
Make him know that we were proud of his accomplishments.
But something far superior to our little idea was presented & this is really what Graduation is all about.
Our son has a sturdy friend group & a bunch of great parents to go with those friends.
So one of these amazing parents arranged for us families to have a Covid Social Distancing Grad party. (The groups of 25 were open to a yard party as in our province's guidelines.)
So off we went to buy him a suit in the newly opened malls.
Trying stuff on wasn't an option in all the stores but we managed to get something that worked & it was handsome & show this kids oversized personality.
Amazingly enough the parents hosting the gig, planned it for what would have been the same weekend as the boys banquet. So it was not what was originally planned, but was almost a banquet in a backyard with Pizza!
The four of us got all dressed up (Hubs, Daughter, Grad Son & I). It was really cool to be able to put on something nice for once. Our daughter curled his hair, & helped cover up some of the red marks on his face. I love how kids these days don't care how they are looked up on with curling hair & make up.
Drinks, Dinner, Photos & a really great evening all of us!
We got to celebrate the kids & it was perfect.
They all looked so charming & handsome.
Even my son; he cleaned up so well.
It was hard to believe that this was our second go round with a high school graduate.
We had done this before with our daughter, but being that we were all living in a Covid world, this was slightly different in environment, but let me tell you not even a little in emotion.
Tears are always there with me & my kids growing up.
Proud is nothing compared to how I really felt.
Then the most amazing part yet....
The High School had planned to have a drive through Graduation.
Walking the stage was going to happen for our kid & all the others.
This would have been the 1st graduating class of this high school & they were not going to let class not be celebrated.
All families were assigned a day, & a time that they were to pull up to the school & they would get a chance to walk the stage with cap in hand, diploma & a social distance picture with the principal.
Families of the Graduates were also asked to decorate their vehicles or do something that celebrated their students.
So for our little family, we suited our son up again. (Yes the suit was worn twice!)
Got one Gold Star balloon (as the school colors are gold & blue & our truck is blue) & a red balloon as per our son's request. Then we attached our muskoka chair to the back of our truck & he got in & rode his throne through his drive thru! Of course we had to grab him some Tim Hortons Double Double Coffee for this ride.
He waved as teachers & staff cheered.
He smiled & laughed.
His chair (throne) was the perfect original idea for this kid.
Yes! We achieved our family motto of being one of a kind!
Off we drove through the drive thru with screams & cheers. Our son also got a police escort with sirens & lights too.
No one else got that....
(Not sure if it was a bad thing or a good thing that the Constable knew him.)
But it was so funny!
When we hit the front of the line, we all jumped out as the Emcee announced his name & maybe made a little fun of us too (we have known the emcee & principal for years).
Off he went & crossed the stage.
He did it!
He is a high school Graduate.
It was far more than we could have ever done for him.
It was truly so very special.
Our daughter who graduated high school a few years ago even mentioned that it was better than the traditional auditorium ceremony as you do not have to endure all of the kids & you could make as much noise & cheering as you wanted. You truly only get to celebrate yours.
The school went above & beyond with creating an environment to make each student feel special if only for a few mins. Magical!
There was also a virtual Grad Ceremony that the whole grade 12 student body & family could watch too. This was equally as special as they did a picture for each student as a tribute.
Here is the most important thing though!
All of these students (mine too) deserved this!
They earned this!
No one could have known that their Grad year was going to be during a pandemic, but this Grad was just as memorable as the Covid-19!
The stories these kids get to tell generations after are one of a kind.
This has been original just like them.
Their story will always be unique.
In this, my son got to be a High School Graduate....
Happy Grad my baby boy!