Preschool Graduation During the Coronavirus: It Wasn’t Supposed to End Like This

On a Thursday morning a visitor arrives at our door. There was much anticipation for this visit. Not only because we haven’t had many people at our house recently due to the stay-at-home order, but because of who was stopping by. My son’s teacher. It had been almost two months since he’d last seen her.

Every few minutes he’d ask “will she be here?”
“Ten minutes buddy,” I’d say.
“Now how long?”  he’ asked shortly again. “Five minutes sweetie.”

I stood eagerly with him on the inside of our glass front door, camera-ready. Why the camera? This visit would prove to be the equivalent of my son’s preschool graduation.

preschool graduationInstead of celebrating his last day of school with his classmates and an ice cream party, his teacher came by and dropped off this diploma on the porch, wearing gloves and a face mask.

While not able to have any contact with her, we did slide the top half of the screen door open so he would at least be able to talk to her briefly.

Tears were shed on both sides of the screen that morning, by a teacher who just wanted to hug her student and by a mom who could not imagine her son’s first year of school would end like this. But this is the reality of graduations in the age of Covid-19.

I know we are not alone. There have been many life events that have been altered recently due to the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine. Weddings, birthdays, first communions, and graduations all postponed or canceled. Major life events that still need to be recognized and celebrated.

Will my son remember he missed out on this special day in five, 15, or even 20 years from now? Probably not, but I will and so will the senior class of 2020. They missed out on prom, senior class trips, graduation, and all the goodbye celebrations that come with it. Honestly, I personally could not imagine missing out on this monumental year in school. I relished this time in my life. It was the cherry on top of 12 years of education.

While my son missed out on the last two months of preschool, I’m blessed that I still feel he is ready for kindergarten in September. What type of classroom he will return to in the fall {virtual or actual} is still to be determined. Nevertheless I know everyone – students, teachers, and parents – will be excited when that eventual first day back to school arrives.