This week is the last week of school before summer break begins, and what a year it has been. During a global pandemic, online school, and a move across the world, you made it.
This school year was hard. You’ve spent the school year between homes and working on makeshift desks. Your schoolwork was scattered around your bedroom floors instead of in lockers or cubbies. You couldn’t stand side by side with your friends during concerts, plays, and performances. There have been no laughter-filled cafeterias, crowded hallways, trips to the school library, or bumpy field trip bus rides.
Your teachers worked with you through computer screens and zoom squares, your counselors supported you, and your peers wanted to be with you. However, I was the lucky one to see you in person every day this school year.
I saw all of you overcome social anxiety and show your face on zoom. I saw you make new friends and include the ones that were left out. I saw you stand up for yourself when you were mistreated. I saw you advocate for yourself, block bullies, and speak up. I saw you work hard even when not feeling up to it. I saw you overcome stage fright to sing your song and act in your play. I saw you try new foods and conquer new recipes. I saw you fix broken technology, read new books, and learn new languages. I saw you gain patience as you worked through frustrating assignments. I saw you come up with practical solutions for tough projects. I saw you become best friends with each other. I saw you swallow your pride, and you ask when you needed help. I saw you take breaks when you needed peace. I saw you keep going when you wanted to give up. I saw you help around the house without being asked, and I saw you take pride in your personal space. With our home as your classroom, I got to see you grow smarter, wiser, and kinder every day.
The solitude was unfair, and I am sorry there are no in-person ceremonies or celebrations with certificates. Your achievements deserve to be celebrated. So, as you close your laptops one last time this school year, know that if it were up to me, dear daughters, you would win the award for resilience, and you would get honors in strength and a medal for perseverance.
You will never forget this school year; it was unlike any other. As you prepare for in-person school again, I hope that you hold your mom-given accolades in your heart. For they hold lessons of bravery wrapped in love, and they shaped you into who you are now. Stronger, braver, brighter, and ready for whatever comes next.
I love you,