5th Grade Graduation - 2020 COVID Style


Last week, Little Lewie, yes, the little tyke you see waiting for the bus, graduated from 5th Grade!

He had a joyous five years of elementary school, and in what seemed like the blink of an eye, it all ended.  Boom.  Like that.  Over.  Done.  Finished.

We received news that his school would have a Drive Thru 5th Grade Promotion.  (In my day, it was called a graduation.)  One by one, a line of cars would drive through and stop at two tables.  At the first table, students would be able to say goodbye to the DARE Officer that taught them throughout the year.  At the second table, they could pick up their Certificate of Promotion and take a quick picture with their teacher (as long as they wore a mask and tried to social distance themselves).

At first, I thought the process would be so quick, I wouldn't have time to be emotional.  However, as we gathered in line (which went pretty fast), and we saw Principal Mur****, I lost it.  I mean, I really lost it.  My husband, who started out by making fun of me, soon started crying, too.  The only one in the car that didn't cry was Little Lewie.  He said he was too angry at COVID-19 to be sad, and of course, I promised him that one day, perhaps next year, we would return to his elementary school to "properly" say goodbye to his teachers--with hugs and everything.  (It's a nice thought.)

When we drove home and I wiped the tears from my eyes, Little Lewie and I looked at his yearbook together and some of the other "goodies" he received--his certificate, an Amazon gift card, and a treat bag that said "I wish we had s'more time together" (with just enough ingredients to make a s'more).  I was thrilled to see that his teacher put many of Lewie's pictures into the yearbook, like these...

I got choked up another time.  Elementary school was a place of many milestones...his first science fair, history fair, and geography fair; his first art show; his first winter concert; his first 5-K; his first school friends; his first Junior Achievement class (with his parents as teachers); his first real playground and gym class; his first game of dodge ball; his first school bus ride, etc. etc.  All the memories came charging full force.  I would miss his school principal, his teachers, his counselor, and especially his fifth grade teachers, who communicated with us on a weekly basis once we started learning from home.  Everyone had been so patient, kind, understanding, compassionate, and helpful.  I still feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude when I think of these special years.  The teachers made them magical.

We ended the day with a special dinner and Grammy's homemade chocolate cake!  Then, a week later, we had a "Celebrate Lewie Night."  Here we spent an hour watching a slideshow of all the 5th graders (set to music); a "congratulations speech" by his superintendent, principal, and teachers; and a recording of his concert music.  I know I'm going to sound a little boastful when I say that I thought Little Lewie's recording was the best.  (Honestly, I was so proud of him; his hours of trumpet practice really showed!)

Now, after all the hours of "homeschooling"-- reading, writing, math, science, history, trumpet practice and art--everything has all come crashing to an end, a deafening silence, a void.  Normally Lewie would be starting camp right now with new adventures awaiting him.  There would be preparation for our next National Park trip to Glacier National Park, too.  Instead, we're home--me with the equivalent of "Zoom Meetings," Lewie with x-box, and my husband with work and some unhappy family news.  It will be a "different" summer, but I hope to use this time to create new memories...ones that will be unique to this time but just as happy and fulfilling.  We'll celebrate again when hugs and real goodbyes are allowed.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a nice celebration. I was happy that my kids have graduations next year and not this year - from 5th and 8th - so I hope we can celebrate regularly again! This is already such a weird summer here. I hope it goes ok for you.


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