In March of 2020 my son was a senior in high school. He had worked his way through this school’s world-renowned student choir and finally was enjoying the benefits of such an accomplishment, not the least of which is incredible travel opportunities. As a treat for our entire family we maxed out our finances in order to trail the choir on their Italian tour which had been scheduled for around graduation time. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to watch my son sing in the Sistine Chapel. For a family from the inner city of Gary, IN it seemed like an impossible dream come true. I never would have imagined such an opportunity for my child when I first began the journey of parenthood.
Then it all came crashing down. His final year of high school was unceremoniously ripped away. There was no “last day” or last dance, no chance to say goodbye to teachers and mentors. There were no final activities or end of year events. One day he went to school and then the next he didn’t. By the time graduation rolled around my son had given up any ideas he had about senior activities. The parents scrambled to throw together a drive-by graduation, but my son – ever the practical child – said he saw no point in it.
“It’s over,” he said, flatly. “High school is over. It’s done. It is what it is. What is the point? I just want to move on.”
His graduation gown and cap still sit in their original plastic wrap to this day.
His resilience was not rewarded. He was not allowed to move on. His college in Chicago closed their campus and after a lackluster semester of online schooling from his room in southern California, we decided the best move would be to defer and try again in the 2021 school year. He went to work and handled his own business for the next year, but what he missed out on wasn’t just a dorm room or a graduation ceremony. He missed out on a vital transition period in
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