To my children,
To say I am proud of you would be an understatement. Last year ended in a way none of us ever would have imagined, and this year began in a way we never could have anticipated.
You missed middle school graduation, end-of-the-year parties and awards ceremonies. One day you walked out of school without a clue it would be your last. And for my oldest, never to return to the halls as a student in that building again. Lockers were emptied by teachers and contents were picked up in drive-by carlines. You said goodbye to your teachers as they drove through our neighborhood waving their hands and signs out of bus windows.
Life felt different. We didn’t know what to expect.
And even with all of that uncertainty, you did it. You took the change and the challenges and you went with it. Day by day by day. Inching forward. Learning as you went.
Was it easy? No. Were tears shed? You bet. But you found things to enjoy. Some of you began playing the piano and others took to reading more. Hammocks were hung in the backyard and baking became a new favorite pastime. You weren’t occupying the time in ways you once did, but you still found things to bring your hearts joy.
And when the school year began, you had no idea what it would look like to learn online for the year. None of us knew what to expect. We sat up desks in your rooms and purchased the necessary supplies. Chromebook and textbooks were picked up and you ventured into the great unknown of virtual education.
Your teachers were learning. You were learning. You were facing the unknown together.
And now, as the year is creeping closer to the end, I can’t help but to think of how incredibly proud of you all that I am. I am proud of your grit and your resilience and your determination to succeed in these challenging circumstances.
This year may not have been what any of us ever would have expected, but I am confident the skills you learned will last you a lifetime. You have learned how to face unexpected challenges. You have learned self-discipline and how to pace yourself to meet goals and achieve success. You have learned to face disappointment, and keep moving forward.
And I have learned a lot from you this year. I have seen how hard it has been at times, and I have seen you rise to the occasion to face the difficulty that has come your way.
I don’t know how I would have responded to something like this when I was your ages. Honestly, I am pretty confident that I wouldn’t have handled it as well as you did.
The school year is inching closer to the end, and I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how proud of you I am. You can face hard things. You can do big things.
Never forget that.
And know I always love you.