Oh, that’s right, the kids had their Google classroom today. A good bye celebration. I muster all my mommy courage so I don’t break down weeping a block from my home.
“Hey guys, let me wash my hands, how was your last computer visit with your class,” I said. See everything’s normal. Nothing to worry about, everything’s under control.
“They won’t remember this, right, how will they know what they miss?” I asked my friend later that night. I needed to download these thoughts on someone else. The spouse was knee deep in Twitter, and the dog only answers in vague platitudes.
“I think they will,” she says, “but what’s really happening is you are grieving your loss, the experience you lost.”
Boom! See, I knew she would be helpful.
The shock of a crisis melts away, and you are left with the hole of grief. All my mind can try to come up with is an analogy. Is this akin to reconstruction- building the nation again after the Civil war (I watch Grant on the history channel, but they gloss over that part.) Is this like a cancer diagnosis that doesn’t get a survivor story? Where there never is a going back to ‘normal.’ It’s just painfully different.
Those analogies may be accurate for the COVID crisis. But my child missing a kindergarten graduation... is that more like missing senior prom?
“Is that why I am so distraught about this, because I missed senior prom,” I said. “I mean I missed senior prom, you know people that missed senior prom...”
“It is a big milestone,” she said.
Recall the scene in Pretty in Pink, when Andie says she may not go to the prom, Iona responds:
I have this girlfriend who didn’t go to hers, and every once in a while she gets this really terrible feeling — you know, like something is missing. She checks her purse, checks her keys, counts her kids, she goes crazy then she realizes nothing is missing. She decided it was side effects from skipping the prom.
Then I remember to check my blessings. I am worried about my kid missing a little celebration, when there are parents out there worried about their kids missing meals.
They got some toys to celebrate the day, it helped ease my grief. In the end, I don’t think they care and I hope they can only vaguely remember.