I am a mother of a high school senior, class of 2020. This year all themes, quotes, songs and party decor provided clarity around one key idea – the class of 2020 had vision! From eye focus charts on invitations to cool sunglass shades, you could not escape the 2020 cliché. Hell, when you can buy cheap party goods on Amazon, Dollar Tree and Oriental Trading Company…this is a mommy party planner’s dream theme graduation year.
How quickly the dream turned into the stuff of 3-D sci-fi nightmares.
How quickly the vision turned into a blurred reality.
How quickly we wished we could purchase a new set of disposable contacts and readjust our prescriptions to witness a brighter future for our seniors.
I am keenly aware this pandemic impacts lives on such a greater level than a teenager’s dream shattered. I am an educator trying to lead our district into online instruction, even for PreK students. I am a caregiver to family members who fall into the vulnerable populations. I live in Florida (with Florida man and spring breakers)…you watch the news and know what is yet to come. My oldest daughter serves in the Navy and I have family members on the frontlines of the medical community. This crisis impacts us all.
But today, I write for the senior class of 2020. Just a brief moment to share their accomplishments suspended in time. I am normally a “tough cookie” type of mom. I am the first to lecture (Mrs. Brady style) on how blessed we are and how worse off it could be. My youngest daughter does not need to hear that lecture right now. She needs “tough cookie” mom to become “empathetic” mom.
She needs a hug (because I am the only one she is allowed to be un-socially distant from).
She needs me to wipe her tears.
She needs to see my cry, too.
She needs me to help her re-envision her senior year.
So here we go…let’s re-envision the class of 2020.
For the time you spend away from friends, you are saving a possible life.
For the time you spend online for school, you are building your technology communication skills.
For the baseball games and sporting events not played, you are winning against an invisible enemy.
For the dances that will be postponed or cancelled, you are selflessly saving our medical force.
For the graduation ceremonies that will be unattended, you are earning a degree in resillience.
For all of the sacrifices you make today, you will show the world the power of your generation, who made a difference for the generations that came before you and the ones you will create in the future.
You are the class of 2020. Your vision and mission is to flatten the curve so you can rise to the occasion.
We see all that you are NOT doing right now. You are clearly an amazing class.
We all thank you, Class of 2020.
Mellissa Alonso-Teston, Mom, Class of 2020