Tweens & Teens: My kid is missing his senior year

As many of you know, Shannon and I each have a high school senior at home right now. Shannon’s daughter and my son will be graduating in May and then heading off to college in the fall.

We all thought we knew how it was going to play out. And then… the coronavirus pandemic happened.

The kids’ schools closed and, according to an announcement from the Governor this week, Arkansas schools will NOT open again before the end of this school year. And it’s a little heartbreaking because we wanted our kids to have a fun, carefree senior year with the friends they’ve been in class with for years now. But now they’re all separated from each other, their teachers and all those special senior year traditions that are supposed to be happening this spring.

The other day, Shannon pointed out that it’s ironic that this is happening during their senior year. After all, the Class of 2020 was born around the same time that the attacks of September 11th happened. (Can’t these kids get a break, please?)

But we’ve all gotta deal with the current reality. We fully acknowledge that there are much worse problems to have than this one. Still, we know this is disappointing for our teenagers.

It’s impossible for us to say to our 18-year-olds that “we know how you feel.” Because we don’t know exactly how this feels for them. We were lucky enough to finish our senior year the traditional way. We went to the senior prom. We had those senior year tournaments. It breaks our hearts that our kids won’t have those moments, too.

So we’re passing along this great letter we found on the Grown and Flown website. It was written by someone who really can say that he knows how this feels because he missed the last part of his senior year, too, when his community was impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Not only does he empathize with the Class of 2020, he also gives a great perspective on their situation.

If you are the mom of a high school (or college) senior, please read this touching letter and forward it on to your kids, too.