Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dear Village. Thank You.

I have a love/hate relationship with June.  

The month of June.

It is always jam packed with school year end events as well as all the normal events for those of us not ending a school year. It is usually crazy busy.

But is also heralds the start of summer.  For my family is ends the school year and although summer is plenty full it marks a shift in schedules and routines.

This June was an exception.  I knew that Lindsay finishing Grade 12 would mean extra events. I was prepared for those.  Dress was purchased at Spring Break. Altered in plenty of time.  Valedictory tickets were purchased, delighted to secure enough so my parents could attend.

In other words, as per usual, I was pretty on top of things.

And as per usual I was so caught up in the logistics and arrangements that the emotions snuck up on me!  

It is sobering to see the cap and gown on your little girl.  To be part of the ceremony that both acknowledges their high school achievements and launches them onward.  

As we rose in the auditorium to sing O'Canada I was overcome with just how lucky our kids are, we all are, to live here and now, to have fantastic educators, good education, relative wealth and a community, a neighbourhood, of people we know and love, many of whom have been part of the village that helped us raise our kids.

As each of the 240 graduates crossed the stage they came to shake their Principal's hand.  Many flung their arms around him in genuine emotion.  He had a conversation with each one of them.  Each one.  As though there was no one else in the room.  We couldn't hear what he said but we could tell it was a heartfelt moment for both him and the student.  Each time I look at these photos of the moment he had with Lindsay (in which he turned her around to face us, knowing I would have the camera ready) it brings tears to my eyes.  I think every parent wants to know that someone noticed, knew their child.  That there were adults around high school that cared about not only what she was (or wasn't ) doing but about who she is and is becoming.  Neil Kamide showed he knew her and he cared about her and about us which is a true reflection of his character as a person and a leader of a huge school.  I am deeply grateful to him and to all the Educators who invested in Lindsay.

It was a long but thoroughly lovely evening that ended at 10:30pm with a McDonald's drive through for hungry Byres.  Desperate measures for desperate times!

And yesterday - Prom.  Another teary Mama day.  But how utterly lovely she looked, how poised and confident.   And what fun she had.  The photos, the red carpet at the school in hot sunshine. They then hopped aboard buses to a downtown Vancouver hotel for a dinner dance with speeches and toasts (no parents).  The buses bring them back to the school around 11pm where they stay and party until 5am.  It is called the Dry Grad event and was conceived to keep kids sober and safe on Grad night after a slew of drunk driving deaths many years ago.  Parents work all year on this event and spend 2 days decorating the school under top secrecy and then chaperone the party all night.  There are games, shows, food, photo booths, a DJ. It is quite a thing.  

You may have thought after this week, heck this month, I would have fallen in to bed and slept like the dead.  I did. Until 2:30am and I have been up since then.  I was up when Lindsay walked home at 5am and we had a cup of tea on the patio and I heard all the news of the night.  She is happily napping now.

It has been quite a week.  Our girl is finished high school and eagerly anticipating the adventures ahead of her.  I am so proud of her.

If you have been part of her journey through these many years of school, as a teacher, administrator, friend, coach, field trip driver, sideline whatever way....I am deeply grateful for you all.

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