Saturday was the official graduation day for my youngest granddaughter in Austin Texas. She’s the last of the grandkids to graduate from high school, and her graduation is so different on so many levels from her cousins.
First of all, there was no traditional ceremony in an auditorium where all the kids gathered to sweat out the hours together. Which was kind of odd because the kids all got their caps and gowns a couple of months ago. I guess in case they wanted to save them for posterity.
I wonder how many people keep their caps and gowns and for how long?
When I graduated high school, we didn’t purchase caps and gowns. We rented them. Which made sense considering that so few people actually kept theirs. I did hang on to my gold honors tassel for quite a long time, but I don’t remember what happened to that after all these intervening years. I would never have purposely thrown it away. I worked too damn hard to get it.
But, back to my granddaughter, Kat, who also graduated with honors in the top 5% of her class.
She said she was just fine with not having a ceremony. Sitting for hours in a cap and gown was not an activity high on her list of fun things to do, but that did mean that she, and her classmates, missed that important element of “finishing.”
Important milestones in life need to be marked somehow, not just melt into the ordinariness, or not ordinariness of life as we know it this June of 2020.
There was no party, no gathering of friends and family, although her mom and dad decorated the house and made it all festive. They also set up a zoom party where grandma’s and aunts and uncles and cousins could all come in and wish her well. It was fun to see everybody, and to at least be able to share that kind of celebration with her, but it definitely was not a party.
I don’t know if she was disappointed, probably on some level she was since her older sister had a very nice gathering of friends and family when she graduated high school a couple of years ago, but Kat is not the jealous type. She’s never begrudged her older sister for anything, and I’m sure that when the sun set on Saturday Kat was just fine.
Although, if she hadn’t decided what she wanted for dinner that evening she may have had to have leftovers for her graduation meal. How memorable is that?
Actually. Kind of memorable if you think about it, and in an atmosphere of total fun, I bet she’d like that.
The type of celebration that my granddaughter and her peers are having is not the only thing that’s so dramatically different for high school seniors this year. So are the plans, or the lack of plans, that they have been able to make for the future.
College is on hold. Any summer jobs are on hold. It seems like our whole lives are on hold because of this COVID 19.
But again, the impact the virus is having is not something that’s of all-consuming concern for Kat. She seems to be adapting incredibly well to whatever comes her way and perhaps one day she will be telling her kids and grandkids about the very bizarre high school graduation she had.
In the meantime, this proud grandma wishes her well for whatever comes next in her life. I know she will accept it with as much grace as she has everything in her life, and good things lie ahead. She is smart. She is strong. She is… Kat.
Have you had a not-your-ordinary graduation in your family this year? Want to give a shout out to a kid or grandkid you’re proud of? Go ahead and leave a comment and we will celebrate all.
And in case you haven’t seen the nationwide online celebration to celebrate all graduates, here’s a link to the YouTube video.