Slice of Life Tuesday: Making Graduation Week Happy Instead of Hard

Sunday was a gray, overcast day and as it went on, my mood soured. I attributed this change in my emotions to the weather until I went on an errand late in the day. A father, presumably of a 2020 graduate in a neighboring town was in front of me in line at the fabric store. He was planning a surprise graduation door decoration for his daughter!

On my drive home, I sighed. That’s the cause of my sad mood, I thought. This week was to be graduation week – a week of joyful celebrations. Wednesday would be the last day of classes for seniors, followed by the senior banquet that night. Friday would be graduation rehersal and arrival of out of town family. And, Saturday, May 23rd was supposed to be Graduation Day 2020 for our youngest son!  His party would have been  in early June after the State Track Meet (which was to be June 5th adn 6th). Then, later in the month, during the last week in June he would go to the UK on a trip with his Aunt. Now, none of this is going to happen!

UGH! No wonder I was feeling down. It was here, and yet it wasn’t! It was going to be a hard week, I thought to myself as I drove down the highway.  I was mournful and morose. No wonder I feel so down; I am sad about the celebrations the classes of our home town high schools will be missing this week and coming weekend.

Sure, things are being done to celebrate as best as possible. Schools are using social media postings, and yard sign posts, and notes from teachers, counselors, and coaches to all try and make up for what is being missed. Everyone is trying to make it right. I know.

But, for some reason last night, I woke up in the middle of the night with a thought. This week doesn’t have to be hard. It can be happy! The week can be filled with lots of little happy moments.  It just doesn’t seem right to let it go by without acknowledging what was supposed to be happening. And, besides, won’t it be better to be happier than be hard?

Luckily, there has not be much, if any, complaining about the lack of festivities from our son. He rolls with life as it comes, including any ups and downs. He doesn’t ask for much, if any, recognition even if he is very deserving in several areas of student life – althletics and art. He has leadership abilities, too. Although like both his father and I, none of his leadership has come in the form of assigned titles or roles. He just “does” – he is a leader!  He continues to show that now through his humblness and work ethic regarding his future plans and endeavors, as well as through his attitude.

While he’s been getting his online classwork done, he has also been putting in about 50 hours a week working on building his art following by making tutorials and hosting give aways for his art.

None of this should be taken for granted, but rather celebrated! So, during the early morning light of today is when I decided to make this week happy and not hard!

Here are some of the ways will will celebrate the end of high school this week for our son:

Last day of Classes (Traditionally)

This year will be different; Friday has been designated as last day for new learning).

  • Goodie Bag – 2020 Graduation goodies including 2020 glasses, and pin on button, candies, and general “swag.”
  • Hair cut! (This is the first day that hair cuts are available near us! He cannot wait for this!)

Graduation Ceremony Rehersal Day

Traditionally, the Friday before Memorial Day.

  • Favorite Meal and dessert. This will either be fajitas (his favorite food is rice) or smoked ribs! What he’ll choose for dessert is anyone’s guess!

Graduation Day (Traditional)

Graduation was to be Saturday, May 23rd, 2020. Schools in Wisconsin are closed until the end of the year per the Governor’s order, which means until June 30th. Our high school has elected to have a graduation ceremony outside on July 25th. The administration kindly surveyed the parents and students to determine when and how to have an official ceremony. But, this Saturday we will have:

  • A Special Delivery
  • Balloon Bunch
  • Photo shoot in the yard with our graduate and his girlfriend (also a senior at another local high school).
  • Smore’s

Sports & Activities Celebrations

Each activity will be honored with its own board of photos and memorabilia. Ordinarily, I’d have this done by now.  Shuttefly books for each year of high school will be presented as gifts when we formally celebrate in July.

  • Soccer 
  • Track and Field
  • Artwork
    • Celebrating his art near and far –
      • Washington D.C, Cannon Tunnel
      • Federal Courthouse, Buffalo, New York
      • Outdoor mural in La Crosse
      • Indoor mural in his/our High School
      • Portraiture & Commissions

It’s funny what a change in mindset can do. I was feeling low due to the loss of joyful events that we had planned on celebrating this coming week. While those events have been cancelled or rescheduled, we can still celebrate and most of all, be happy!

No matter what your graduate did with their time in high school and no matter what their plan is for the future, I urge you to find some small way to celebrate them now. Sometime over the next month was to be “their” moment.

Graduating from high school is a milestone than deserves a happy celebration,              not a lament over what was lost or supposed to be.


Thank you blog for hosting Slice of Life:Tuesday!




9 thoughts

  1. Oh, Carol! I need this mindset switch. Brynn is pretty roll with the punches too, but I think I’m taking it harder than she is. You are correct that WE can go ahead and celebrate her and her many accomplishments, even if it isn’t the traditional celebrations. Thank you! I needed this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations to your son. This will be a memorable year to graduate when it’s all said and done.!
    I hope he enjoys all the special things you are doing with / for him this week. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. >Graduating from high school is a milestone than deserves a happy celebration, not a lament over what was lost or supposed to be.<

    Carol, what a beautiful slice.

    So much of what we've read about right now it what's been "taken", but yet, with that simple mindset change, we go from "taken" to "given": given that time to truly reflect on what graduation is all about, given a chance to make the decision of "what next" is going to be able, and given that opportunity for parents to see the good in this crazy situation.

    Thank you for sharing with us how to change a mindset in a very public format! I appreciate it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I am trying. It’s easier said than done but I made a list of things we can do to celebrate and am trying to do these small things to make it memorable forhim. I appreciate your support and kind comments.


  4. What a fantastic slice–thank you for sharing it! This is such a hard way to end the year, but I’m glad you were able to find a way to make it special for your son and for you. I don’t doubt that the memories you’re making during these difficult months will last a lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

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