Thank you for turning on the stadium lights and jumbotron in honor of our seniors, and for all the excitement around it. The build up of the names ... then the pictures ... and, on the last night, including the video from the senior service project. It was a HUGE blessing and so needed for these kiddos.
Having a place to show up where they might see a few friends has been a life saver. I know that sounds dramatic (remember, I have TWO senior girls, so...), but it absolutely is true. They were able to find a little bit of the family feeling that they are grieving. They saw friends that they knew well and friends they know just from class. It was a normal school event. It felt normal to park at the Huffman Athletic Center and have somewhere to go.
And the last night ... wow. They came out in numbers. Parents, too. We felt emotional. But aren't we supposed to? A friend who has already graduated one child said early in the pandemic, "I worry for all of us. Kids, of course. But parents, too. There is a grieving process we are missing out on. The last this and the last that ... so that we can spread our tears out a little. We need closure on all the stuff we have been involved in and supported as families. I worry when they go to college we will be in bad shape, because we haven't closed all the doors."
Darlington helped us close a door. Thank you.
All the families and kids. It felt good. The songs made us cry. And that felt normal. It's weird to realize as a parent how much we will miss standing on the sidelines with the same families for years ... we have "kid parent friends" that we love. But we won't necessarily see them after all of this. It felt so nice to be with them and check in on quarantine, etc. At any given moment, we could see a parent with tear-stained cheeks. Being together brought out a lot of good. And a lot of tears we have ALL stored up.
But we got to hear our kids laugh and love each other. OH HOW WE MISS OUR DORM FRIENDS. They are so loved and missed. My girls are in constant contact with their buddies in the Bahamas, China (although she is in Florida), and stateside. But we know the class is not complete. Being at the stadium helped the day kids grieve that, too ... hearing them cheer for dorm friends when their pics showed up ... ah, man. THIS IS WHAT DARLINGTON IS ALL ABOUT.
We loved it. We are grateful for this unique memory for the Class of 2020.
They loved serving others through the food drive. They love the big fat sign hanging on the pavilion. They loved Senior Week countdown ("What is it? What are they doing?" could be heard all day long). They loved the senior T-shirts and really LOVED the letters from teachers. They loved the senior spotlights. They loved the baseball senior night pics of banners on the field. Thank you. Please know that all of this ... the big and the small ... it means so much.
WE ARE DARLINGTON. We will send out the best of the best this graduating year. Thank you for all you have done to prepare them and honor them. WE LOVE Y'ALL.