Last night my younger daughter graduated from sixth grade, and this morning, my older daughter is taking the last of her finals to wrap up her freshman year of high school.
It's been a year full of adversity for both of them, in very different ways. My eldest is tremendously academically focused. This is the first year that she's been truly challenged by her schedule, and she's survived the combination of all Pre-AP classes and the social pressures of navigating an extremely large high school with only a few
completely overwhelming and
stressful breakdowns hiccups.
My sixth grader went through changes of a different kind this year. She learned to play to guitar. She completed two seasons of mountain bike racing in both Texas and Louisiana. She dealt with getting out from under her older sister's shadow, and she learned to stand up for herself amidst "girl drama" and how to handle bullies and social pressures with grace and kindness.
As adults, we don't mark our years by the school calendar, or take the time to reflect on our successes and failure for the previous twelve-month period. We don't get a report card to measure our worth, or an awards' night to dress up for. There is no graduation.
The adversity is there, and the successes are, as well. We have to deal with feeling in over our head, or learning to stand for ourselves, too. Taking the time to recognize what we've been through and acknowledge our own growth is up to us and us alone.
So on this graduation weekend, I suggest we all take the time to pat ourselves on the back for what we've written this year. Our pages count as it's increased, and the number of pages we've edited out. Our acceptances and our rejections. Even the successes of our friends—especially the successes of our friends. After all, writing isn't a competitive sport. We all are in this together, even if we don't get to walk across a stage and accept a diploma.