2020 has been a year punctuated with so very many losses. There have been big ones- the awful loss of lives, the devastating loss of livelihoods and our never ending confinement here in Melbourne.
Then there are smaller sadnesses – mourned nonetheless.
This is about a smaller loss. Perhaps one , that may even be regarded as tiny in the scheme of all that has occurred – yet it is tugging at me with a heaviness that I can’t quite ignore.
I am the Mum of a VCE student and I have witnessed, from the sidelines, every heartbreaking loss that my daughter has endured during this year. It’s been painful to watch her , watch everything she has looked forward to in her final year at school . . . simply NOT happen!
She and her friends have been strong. They have been resilient, and stoic ( for the most part). And now finally they are back at school for a little while before exams begin in earnest.
They are hoping for some school sanctioned celebration when exams are over – if permitted , if finally allowed.
What certainly won’t be allowed will be, all of us, the parents of these precious young women and men, to gather at a graduation, or speech night to farewell the class of 2020.
And herein lies my sadness.
For we, the parents and carers, of the Class of 2020, are a cohort too.
Many of us are privileged to have known each other for 15 years. Our children’s entire school life. Some of us remember each other from those early days of lower kinder – dropping off our excited toddlers , or peeling off our crying ones. We forged fledgling friendships seeing each other each day as we waited , snacks in hand , at the school gate. We visited each other’s homes for play dates and parties. Meeting partners (and pets) and often grandparents. We got to know each other’s families. We shared advice and ideas. We depended on each other . And as our children grew, so did our connections: Helping out at school together – in the garden, in the kitchen , in the classroom. When we cheered , it was for for ALL our children at school performances, or during the bustling
swimming galas , and at sports days on Cup Day . . . sometimes, in the rain.
This was OUR year of kids, ￼￼the ones that started prep in 2008 , with a view to finishing school in that auspicious year of 2020. We felt a fierce pride in them , our beautiful growing children and this pride united us.
Of course as our children grew older , they needed us around less. And so we saw less of each other on a regular basis. But we remained connected. Chatting at parent teacher evening, sharing Bar and Bat Mitzvah milestones and waving our children off at the airport together as they headed off on Ulpan to Israel.
We were in it together. Early mornings, late bus rides , day by day, term by term, year by year, all the way to 2020.
And now here we are.
It’s unprecedented- as we are constantly told. This pandemic.
We were supposed to be dancing , cheering and remembering together- all of us , the parents of these incredible children. Our children. Celebrating them. Celebrating our wonderful school. Celebrating the end of this journey that brought us together.
It is not to be.
And it is a sadness. A tiny sadness in the scheme of so much loss. But still it is ours.Something further to unite us , that we could never have anticipated.
So let us cheer together one last time, (via zoom 😢), for the Class of 2020.
￼Our wide – eyed toddlers who are now tall and clever. Well rounded, capable adults, all of them.
Let us acknowledge too our own journey alongside them, our beloved children, who came of age in the time of a global pandemic.
We are with you , Class of 2020 .
We are with each other, as we have been, since that very first day of school, so very long ago.
Thank you for all the memories!