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Milestone Poetry

What an emotional couple of days! I’m glad I took yesterday off. We got done with all the festivities just before lunchtime and took a whole bunch of pictures afterward. I probably could have just done a half-day yesterday considering what time we got done but it ended up being good that I didn’t go back to work. It allowed me to write a couple of poems and take care of some other tasks that I’d been meaning to take care of.

I’m really glad his high school broadcasted both the virtual graduation and the senior parade on YouTube Live. That allowed our family members to watch it from the safety of their own homes while it was happening. I know they were looking forward to coming to the actual graduation, but this ended up being the next best thing. YouTube has a lot of his high school career if you consider all the band performances that are on there over the years. I think it’s cool that he has that to look back on when he wants to reminisce.

Not everyone is big into poetry, so I haven’t been sharing a lot of my stuff lately. But since these are rather large milestones, I felt it would be good to share them here.

The first is about his virtual graduation:

Virtual Graduation
The pandemic threatened to cancel my son’s graduation,
But little did it know it was up against the TCHS bulldog nation,
It managed to kill senior prom and his remaining senior year,
We were told graduation couldn’t happen and we shed a tear,
He had earned the right to walk across that promised stage,
It’s an important milestone that signals his coming of age,
We and the rest of his family, as with others, mourned the loss,
But TCHS bulldogs would show that coronavirus who’s boss,
While it couldn’t be in person, they could have one online,
To everyone’s surprise a virtual graduation turned out fine,
A live online broadcast is more than a bit unorthodox,
But they read their names and gave their standard talks,
It was clear from his laughs and the class messages being sent,
That having a virtual graduation did the trick- 100 percent.

The second is about his senior parade:

Senior Parade
Knowing that the seniors had earned the right to walk the stage,
The TCHS bulldog nation has one more fight to wage,
The parents and the seniors decked in their caps and gowns,
Drove to the school parking lot and filled it with cheering sounds,
We lined up in the order in which we arrived and watched the cars,
Car horns honked and one by one they went, just like ours,
We drove through a maze of rural streets lined with cheering folk,
I never imagined the feelings such a parade would invoke,
When we reached Bulldog Boulevard, we were sorted into our lane,
Photos were snapped and teachers cheered – It was all insane,
We proceeded two by two until we got to the stage and he got out, 
We watched him walk the stage as the wind whipped about,
That special moment we’d all worked hard for had finally came,
We tried to take pictures as best we could and cheered at his name,
I don’t know how he felt but for us it was an emotional whirlpool,
Just like that it was over, and we were driving away from his school,

I don’t know if they invoke the same emotions in others as they do with me but if they did, I’m sorry. Maybe this video will make you feel better. Enjoy!

Mood: A stressed green star. Overwhelmed

Music: Lindsey Stirling – “Crystallize”

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Dangers Ahead

It’s officially the turtle nesting season for beaches across the east coast and a lot of the beaches that I like to frequent have already started seeing both the mama turtles and their nests. It’s neat to count the nests throughout the season and then actually see the little baby turtles scramble across the sands, ultimately to wrestle their way past the surf into the ocean at large.

It kind of reminds me of what’s happening with my son. We’ve watched him grow these last 18 years into an adult and now it’s his turn to scramble across the sands and wrestle his way past the surf into the world at large. Due to COVID-19, he like many high school seniors aren’t getting a traditional graduation. Last night he attended his virtual graduation and then today he participated in his senior parade, where he got to do a drive-thru version of walking across the stage. Somehow, he grew up faster than I ever thought possible. It’s bittersweet feeling.

I’m sad that his senior year got cut short. I wish he could have been able to spend more time with his friends and experience those last days of his high school life. Those days will never come again. To make matters worse, he had a job lined up at the zoo that he was looking forward to but all that got put on hold due to the virus. The zoo is just now reopening but it doesn’t look like the job he had lined up is available currently. We’re not certain if he’ll have a job there once all this is over.

When I look around at the world, I wonder what kind of legacy we’ve left him. There’s a pandemic running wild and half our country believes it’s a hoax. Many aren’t wearing masks or social distancing. News outlets spread propaganda for the political parties they support, leaving the world even more divided than it was. Everything is polarized. America is no longer “we the people” but “us versus them”. Society feels like it’s breaking down and the rule of law tattered. As a parent, I feel like we’ve failed him and there’s nothing I can do to fix it.

At the end of the day, not all those little baby turtles survive. There’s a whole host of predators out there just waiting to devour them. My son faces the same dangers. I just hope I’ve equipped him well enough to make it through all those obstacles and thrive.

Speaking of the ocean, my wife and I have been talking about when we might head to the beach now that everything is opening back up. It’s clear from our news and social feeds that people are returning to the beach in droves. Personally, we feel it’s way too early to go right now. We’re going to at least give it until July and see where things stand. Considering that we’ve already missed two of our normal trips to the beach, we’re dying to go but don’t want that to be literal. I just hope things will have leveled out by then so we can go. Time will tell.

Mood: An achy green star. Proud but Worried

Music: High School Musical 3 – “Scream”

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