For the past 20 years or so, this has been Project Graduation Nursery Sale weekend.
The sale has always been held on Good Friday and the following Saturday morning in the Bobby Ray Elementary parking lot, at least as long as I can remember.
The nursery sale has been canceled this year like so many other activities in our lives. It has me wondering about the plight of other events that are such a crucial part of the life of a high school senior -- the prom, the pomp and circumstance of graduation itself, then Project Graduation afterwards.
Who knows what will happen with any of these activities. Folks talk about the "foreseeable future." Nowadays, the foreseeable future for me is the next 15 minutes. After that, who knows what plans might be altered.
All these high school cancellations have given me a moment of pause because I was fortunate to have just missed all this chaos. As a proud parent of a WCHS class of 2019 graduate, I know what a big deal all those events were for me -- and I was just the parent.
I know it's been said too many parents live vicariously through their children, but for me Ben's senior year was a way for us to connect once again.
Based on my school experiences with my two sons, things were always very hands-on in elementary school. Parents were encouraged to participate in a wide range of events. I felt part of the school.
That largely changed in middle school and it really changed in high school. Education became a very hands-off thing for me as it was my perception my input and participation as a parent weren't needed or desired.
But everything seemed to come full circle during the second semester of Ben's senior year -- the semester where the light at the end of the tunnel is as bright as the sun.
All of a sudden, parents were once again expected to be there. We crowded the parking lot to make pictures before the prom. We were allowed to go overboard during graduation. And we stayed up all night with the kids and stumbled out the door in a haze following an all-night Project Graduation.
The great thing was, I think I had as much fun connecting and forming friendships with other senior parents as my son did in graduating with his senior friends. While our children were hanging out in groups, we'd be hanging out too, often appearing to have more fun than the kids, who were always looking at their phones.
I realize we're in the midst of a global health emergency and I don't want to minimize that threat. But at the same time, I can't help but feel bad there's not a Project Graduation Nursery Sale this weekend. I can't help but wonder about the prom.
This time of year is so memorable for students -- and for parents too. It's unfortunate to have events, and memories, snatched away. These kids have the rest of their lives to work, but they're only in high school once.
I know how much I enjoyed this time last year when the glow of graduation filled the air. I don't see a return to normalcy in the "foreseeable future," but who knows exactly what's foreseeable in today's COVID-19 world.