This week was a very big milestone for our baby girl. Emelia wrapped up her last days of grade school and more specifically, Grade 8. The graduation festivities began Monday with a socially-distanced gathering with a small group of Emelia’s closest friends—ones that she had been with since the first day of Junior Kindergarten. One of the girl’s mother, a Doctor hosted a wonderful and thoughtful event in their back yard that allowed the kids to be together but with the appropriate space and safety measures in place. The girls had an amazing time.
Friday was the big official graduation ceremony at school. Well as big and official as it can get given the global pandemic. The graduation ceremony was basically a 15 minute time window where we could go to her school, as a family group of five people and get some pictures in front of the school, meet with her teachers and get her diploma and then it was all done. There was also a video that the faculty put together that could be watched later at home that highlighted all the accomplishments.
Emelia was beyond delighted that she could have more than just her and I at the ceremony. She was able to have her Poppa & Grandma attend, and her cousin Zoe. Now, because Grandma could watch it all from the drop off lane at the school in Aunt Testza’s car with cousin Zoe, Emelia’s Uncle Greg was able to come to watch as well. So, while it wasn’t a ceremony like anyone might remember from their time, but it certainly made the best of what was otherwise going to be a bummer version of a celebration for the kids.
But the biggest surprise was that Emelia won an award. Aside from getting her school crest which is awarded for having a minimum grade average as well as being involved in a minimum number of extra curricular activities. But over and above that Emelia won the Outstanding Effort Award which was highlighted by some wonderful comments made by her Miss Hoskins, Emelia’s Learning Support Teacher as well as some amazing comments shared to us by her Teacher, Mrs. Yu who was so proud of how hard Emelia worked in this especially difficult and different year for all the kids.
We are so proud of you Emelia and you made such a beautiful Grade 8 Graduate. We’re excited for what is to come and are hopeful that you will be able to start this new journey with in-person learning. You’re right to think these will be some of the best years of your life, and we can’t wait to see and hear about all the new things you take in and learn over the next few years of your life!
And like that in a blink of an eye 10 years passed and Emelia graduated from grade 8. It honestly feels like yesterday we were walking out little girl to her first day of junior kindergarten. It seems like yesterday she was holding our hands tight nervously as she walked into school for the first time. We have been so fortunate to live beside one of the best schools in the city with incredible teachers. Ryerson has been her second home for the last 10 years and we cannot believe she is now off to high school.
This week we tried to make the entire week special for her since let’s be honest this year has really sucked for kids. Emelia has essentially lost her grade 7 and 8 year. All the traditions that kids look forward to in their last year of grade school and high school was lost for these kids. I will say in spite of it all Emelia handled things like a champion. She took what was huge challenges for her in the past and found her own way. She worked so hard and through all the odds against her she came out with incredible grades and an award. Ms Hoskins who has been Emelia’s learning support teacher over the last 4 years pulled me aside at the graduation ceremony and told me she was so excited to present the award to her. She told me that the award was chosen to the student who showed the most resilience, strong work ethic and drive. Emelia some how even through all the challenges came out with a low A average in a year that she had to be home solo all day to learn. We are beyond proud of her.
When we found out just over a week ago that the school was able to do a small in person graduation the first thing Emelia asked was could she have some family there. Thankfully we were able to work to have a number of family members see her graduate including her Aunt Testza, Uncle Greg, cousins Zoe and Abi as well as her Poppa and Grandma. It meant everything to her that family could be there.
What was also huge for Emelia is that her best friends Anna and Grace had the same time slot as she did for the ceremony so they could all graduate together. These girls have been attached at the hip since they were 4 years old and it was fitting the three of them were able to graduate at the same time. It really was a perfect day in spite of it not being what they really wanted – they really wanted the big grad, the dance, dinner, big grad trip. The three girls made the most of it, they have always been there for each other and will go on to the next stage of their lives together at Lucas in the fall.
We are so proud of you Emelia, you have had to overcome so much and have found your own way – your own voice and have shown everyone what your daddy and I already knew – that you are an incredible person who is driven and determined. Never change!