Wisdom from a quarantined
high school senior
Not every High School Senior is sad about an early ending.
I can no longer participate in the current mommy saga…”My Poor High School Senior.” I started to participate in it; but if I stay, it will be for me, not him. Hear me out.
I was invited to participate in a Facebook group that is doing some AMAZING things for high school seniors who are missing all the senior stuff, because of the COVID-19 restrictions. They ask that you post a photograph of your child with a short bio. Then a stranger adopts them and creates a unique gift basket or package with signs, candy, gift cards, t-shirts or whatever, and they deliver it to your house. Jordan was adopted in the first ten minutes of my post. Honoring high school seniors is a way for people to feel useful, positive and to say to seniors, “we know this SUCKS”!
As the mama of a 2020 senior, I feel like I am at least doing something for my graduate. I know his graduation is about him but it’s ALSO about me. Corona virus quarantine was NOT how I imagined the senior year of my firstborn.
On Saturday a kind woman named Heidi arrived at the homestead with a gift bag full of Jordan’s favorites; T-shirt from his college, Chick-Fil-A gift card, Frisbee, Sour Patch Watermelons and a 12-pack of Vanilla Coke. He was grateful but not as emotionally impacted as I would have been. For me, it was odd not to hug her to show my gratitude. Jordan doesn’t really hug people he hasn’t met before but I am sure he would have shaken her hand. Instead, we said hello and goodbye oddly, from six feet away. It was just weird.
For me, high school was one of the hardest beauties of my life. I am definitely one of the teens who would be heartbroken. I was popular, dramatic, materialistic, selfish and craved attention. I played varsity soccer and chased boys. I was a homecoming princess and a class president with daddy issues who drank, occasionally. Top that off with the fact that I TOTALLY cared what others thought of me and you have a freakin’ disaster in the making.
Jordan is not a disaster in the making.
Jordan is one of the wisest people I have EVER met. I learn so much from him. He’s been one of my alchemists since his conception. He taught me how to mother.
He’s my first.
Jordan is wise, thoughtful, logical, hilarious, adventurous, emotionally intelligent, grateful, fair, honest, well-spoken, kind, smart, does NOT care what others think and is popular at his school. He does not feed into drama. Jordan understands his worth, knows his values AND he walks in alignment with both.
He is the total opposite of his father and I at that age. Some might question if we are the people who actually raised him. When I ask Jordan his thoughts about his senior year coming to a screeching halt he says, “Mama, there is so much more for me after high school. I know everyone wants to celebrate but I am just glad it’s done. I am ready to connect with wise thinkers and for the freedom to disconnect from high school. If I could move into my college dorms early, I would. Furthermore, we are in an international crisis and there are other things far more important.”
Wisdom and the ability to think forward is NOT my experience when I was 17 years old. Emotional, dramatic and selfish was more my style.
Unfortunately, Jordan’s senior year was already hard before COVID-19. Jordan helped facilitate a walkout to draw attention to student right issues, after the abrupt cancellation of their senior season of Ultimate Frisbee. Jordan was the captain and the administration gave him the responsibility of telling his team the bad news. Jordan spoke eloquently about why his Ultimate Frisbee Team should be saved. Using his voice gave others permission to speak about their concerns with safety and mental health issues in the school. Many had felt silenced for far too long. They had a strong argument and remarkable supporting facts. He was not pleased but he was kind. The students received a local news coverage for their efforts and the article about the situation got picked up at a national level. The principal eventually backed down and reinstated the team. He never accepted responsibility nor apologized for the turmoil and that’s where he lost Jordan’s respect. The principal also tried to make himself the hero, but we all know better. Without even stepping on the field Jordan lead his teammates to victory. COVID-19 may have taken their senior season but they were already champions to many. They fought for their right to play the game they love AND they won.
I pray that the CIVA Raven’s Boys Ultimate Frisbee team of 2020 takes this moment with them with them forever. Your voice matters, always. Jordan I pray YOU never forget, “son your voice matters always.”
It is understandable that many kids are bummed about missing out on all their “lasts” for senior year, but with my senior what I have come to realize is the early end of senior year was a blessing for many.
I’m sad. I had my own dreams for the senior year of my first born. I was excited about prom and senior breakfast. I pictured half of the auditorium filled with our friends and family cheering, as he took his diploma in hand. A celebratory graduation camp out on our property, canceled. I know he’s ok with it, but I am not. “They can literally send my diploma by email,” he tells me and my heart sinks further.
I wanted to show the world that I, Racquel Loud, giant screw up can and did raise a functioning human being. See, y’all I did it!
The truth is that Jordan was always going to be great. Jordan was born great. The only thing I really did was get my shit together and NOT fuck it up. What’s become so apparent to me is that by simply sharing our story, I am sharing with the world how amazing he is. This story tells far more about him than the diploma would have anyway.
I am proud of you Jordan. Thank you for being gracious and accepting the gift from Heidi on Saturday. I am requiring a photograph of you in your cap and gown but we will celebrate YOUR graduation, however you see fit because Son, your voice matters.
We love you always and forever no matter what.