Clearly a mom of college-aged children who started a collegiate jewelry company to give the loved ones of college students a meaningful graduation gift option should know a thing or two about graduation right?  I should be prepared for all the “stuff” involved in getting to the point of graduating high school, not to mention college.  One would think.

It is a feat as any of you parents reading this know.  The senior pictures, the yearbook submissions, SAT’s and ACT’s (when those were actually a required thing!), the transcripts, the essays, the applications, the college visits, the decisions, the cap and gowns, the prom dresses and tuxes….the list goes on and on and on.  Deadlines galore, stress beyond measure, and then there is what it is like for the kids!!!

When my daughter, my first child, graduated 2 years ago Covid brought so many of her senior year festivities to a screeching halt.  Without warning everything from March on just got erased from the calendar.  The mad speed at which we were traveling to get ready for everything, the prom, the last soccer season, senior night, senior prank, senior skip, cap and gown, graduation, graduation parties, the last summer with friends before scattering to begin the next phase of their lives stopped.  Everything stopped in this bizarre, suspended animation.  Like a dream (nightmare) we could not wake up from.

As the summer waned rumors of colleges closing campuses started to surface.  These kids who had lost the most meaningful portion of their high school careers were now facing losing the start of their college careers as well.  I desperately tried to maintain some perspective in view of the atrocities that the virus was wreaking on the world at this time.  But in the quiet of my bedroom, away from my daughter in front of whom I tried my best to be positive, the crushing disappointment I felt for her took over.  I wept.

Everyday that summer we waited with bated breath for each email that came from my daughter’s university to get the news.  On campus?  Remote?  On campus, but classes remote?  How would her university adapt to this unprecedented event?  Ultimately, her school opened their campus, with classes remote, but the kids got to GO to college.  They got to move into their dorms, decorate them (and I assure you there was not a pillow, throw, or fluffy thing left in town by the time I got done decorating my daughter’s dorm, not that I went over the top to compensate for the times or anything!  And my excitement of her just getting there!!).  Speaking of, my daughter attends the University of Vermont and we live in Colorado.  The caveat to being able to be on campus was that unless the student could drive there in a private car without stopping for more than gas, they would have to quarantine for 2 full weeks in a room by themselves to which food would be delivered and no contact with anyone would be allowed. For TWO weeks!  As thankful as I was to have her be able to physically be on campus, I felt that beginning her college career thousands of miles from home stuck alone in a room for 2 weeks was not the way to do it.  So, as any parent would do, we drove her from Colorado, in a private car, straight through, only stopping for gas.  We are nothing if not rule followers!

Fast forward two years later and my second, and youngest, (I only have 2—we were afraid to be out-numbered!) is the senior.  The craziness is here again.  This time no stopping, no heartbreaking pause in the universe that was (and in many ways and in many places still continues to be) so devastating.  It is just a full sprint.  In the madness this time though it is strange.  With the world moving at lightning speed, my son’s days at home dwindling at far too quickly, I am for some reason far more acutely aware of him leaving.  Of all that this period in his life means with regard to him moving on.

I think with my daughter I was so singularly focused (one would even say obsessed) with one goal after every other event had come and gone.  I was getting her to college.  Period.  This time, however, thankfully, going to college, I am hopefully not foolishly assuming, will not be an issue.  As a result, the concept of his absence, absorbing the fact that he will no longer be here in our home every day, is at the forefront.  I am confident I would have felt all these feelings with my daughter if it weren’t for wanting her to get to college so badly.  I believe I am feeling what it is like to send your first off to college with the second child.

We shall celebrate these kids this year.  All high school-aged kids have persevered through more than we know in the last few years.  Being a senior at the start was tough.  Spending half your high school experience in a pandemic is no picnic either.  These are such formative years for our kids.  Thankfully, they are some incredibly resilient ones as well.  But let us celebrate them.  Let’s take the prom pictures, go to the graduations, throw amazing grad parties, and send them off to the next stage of their lives in style.

And…(shameless plug coming) in style is what Revelry Designs Jewelry is all about!!!