I’m a natural-born optimist and it’s pretty easy for me to exude positivity no matter the situation. I’m a glass half-full kind of person who can find the good in any situation. Even in this horrific pandemic, I’ve found many pockets of joy to give me a boost and continue to look forward to the possibilities of what tomorrow will bring.
To some, I’m completely annoying and I totally get why. Sometimes you just want to sit in the sorrow and pain of what is taking place around us and my vitamin-C sunshine is like ants on a picnic only flipped.
But recently, I was struck with a deep, unthinkable pain in my heart that left me reeling.
I had to run to the store to pick up something we were out of. It was a simple task I have become accustomed to. Putting on my mask and keeping at least 6’ distance from anyone else in the store. I’m not shocked any longer but the act or experience of it. It’s been over a month already.
As I walked past the aisles, I spotted a section of Graduate 2020 party goods and my heart broke. I instantly felt like crying for the thousands of parents out there who have been robbed of the experience of celebrating their child’s graduation big time.
Pausing for a second here, I recognize how odd it is that with all of the images and news out here right now, Graduate 2020 paper plates should not, in reality, be the thing that pushed me over the edge. The news, the sirens, the empty spaces where people used to gather are much bigger things to shake me to my core. I suppose living through past disasters like 9/11 or Hurricane Sandy have sadly prepared me to process what I am seeing and hearing all around. I don’t think any of us can predict what to feel and when. I certainly would never have guessed that paper plates would flare up sadness and grief like it did.
To help explain, I want to share with you that before I even got married, I dreamed of having kids and planning their birthday parties and celebrations. To me, it was the ultimate act of showing my love and I could not wait to do that for my own children someday.
My daughter’s 1st birthday was a 50 person BBQ. Seeing the love and joy in honoring my daughter was one of my top 10 favorite moments. The same with other milestones like preschool graduation, 8th grade graduation and getting a driver’s license. I always invited others to join us and be a part of making the day or accomplishment feel special.
With every cake I picked out or special meal I planned, I felt elevated by the love I was putting into it for them to experience by myself and those who joined us in our celebrations.
My oldest is a junior in high school so this is not our big year to celebrate her accomplishments (or for me to acknowledge mine as her mom) and while I felt bad for those whose kids were not going to have the senior experience they’ve been promised their whole like, it wasn’t until I saw these party supplies that I felt it even deeper for their caregivers.
We all want our kids to get to experience the greatest joys in life. Graduating is obviously up there.
I know everyone will celebrate in their own way and it will still be special even if it’s not how you imagined it to be. And while this is so frivolous at a time like this, I am really hoping that I will see those 2020 Graduate plates and napkins in photos shared throughout May and June. Because seeing those party goods again, but this time with a family using them to enjoy their special day, may possibly unbreak my heart.