This morning, our youngest son, graduated from 8th grade.
Because of COVID precautions, friends and family were only allowed to watch the livestream.
My husband and I took the day off, planned to sign Danny out after the ceremony and have breakfast together.
Turns out, Danny had other plans.
He wanted to be with his friends.
We yielded, dropped him at car riders and proceeded to the closest Starbucks to grab a coffee and watch the graduation.
I was FINE because of how the school framed the day. They called it a promotion ceremony.
And then a monkey wrench was thrown at my flimsy composure.
What starts to play? “Pomp and Circumstance”.
I was crying unabashedly in my caramel macchiato coffee.
I thought back on this school year for Danny, myself and my students.
I was bewildered, stressed and exhausted.
Who wasn’t as we all managed to maneuver through a global pandemic.
This year, I had to reflect on what was most important for Danny.
It wasn’t his GPA, or what advanced program he would navigate next year.
I had to reevaluate what was essential in the present moment.
Did he get enough rest? Was his stomach still hurting? How was his anxiety?
For me, I learned I will no longer stress him out about keeping certain grades.
I realize that coming from a teacher and parent that might sound strange.
This year taught me to treasure tranquility above tension and I am enough just as I am.
So I will share with my son and his siblings a simplified suggestion for a new definition of success:
To all those who are beginning a brand new chapter, consider this counsel to contemplate further and try to see their significance within your heart.
Most importantly, remember you are wholly loved and supported every step of the way.