Bridget and I are the parents of two really great kids; Nick 15, and Gabby 17. As a result of this coronavirus Nick will miss out on his track season and much of his AAU basketball tournaments and I know he is pretty bummed, HOWEVER, he is out of school for the rest of the year which I think brings him a lot of joy. 🙂 Gabby’s story is a little different. This is her senior year and for a teenage girl, this is a very big deal.
She won’t get the chance to put on her brand new dress for prom or host the big dinner we were planning for her friend group at our house. Her graduation ceremony likely won’t happen either so there won’t be a walk across the stage, hat toss at the end, and party to follow. She won’t even get to hug, say goodbye, and cry with her best buddies standing in the empty hallways that last day of school. Gabby is really sad about it all and we get it. Is this anything like losing your business or a job? Not to most of us, but to her class it certainly is.
This is one of those things that you have to figure out as a parent in terms of how you coach them through the valley. Bridget and I agreed that we should let her be sad and morn the loss of what “could have been” because she has every right to those feelings. But, we also don’t want her to settle into a pity party. To Gabby’s credit, she has handled this so well she has inspired me in many ways so I wanted to share her story with you to say this…
I know that I have written blogs like this in the past with a similar feel and punch line but given where we are I think that this is worth repeating. We are all going to experience some amount of stress, sadness, anger, frustration, and worry given what all has taken place in the last 30 days. We are human and entitled to feel those things but we don’t’ get to stay there very long. If we do, the circumstances we find ourselves in; most of which are out of our control, will consume us, and drag us down to the point where we can’t recover which is not an option.
So have some moments, cry some tears if it takes you there, lean on your relationships for support, be grateful for what you have, and then flush it and get ready to flip the switch into ass-kicking mode. Make your decision to figure this out, work on strategy, and get ready for battle.
To my daughter: It’s hard as a parent to see you sad and robbed of a senior year that should have been much better than what you’re getting, but the tough parts of life will give you the grit you need for things to come. You never cease to amaze me with your positive attitude and ability to put things into perspective so thank you for the light that you shine into all things. I am so incredibly proud of who you are.