Grad Day

My Daughter graduated from Grade 8

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My daughter is officially a grade eight grad. It was a day of joy and sorrow, beauty and ugliness, and kindness and selfishness. Nothing brings out the duality in human nature like celebration ceremonies.

Obviously, I am so proud of my daughter. She’s a beautiful, kind, sensible and practical young lady. Yes, the gown cost a fortune and the makeover wasn’t free, but it was worth every cent. My girl was stunning and gracious.

School was challenging at times. She has a learning disability in math and suffers from anxiety. Overcoming these roadblocks, combined with social pressures in a school dominated by certain peer groups, was difficult. At one point, the ‘in-girls’ turned into ‘mean-girls’ and my girl was ostracised from their circle. Although hurtful, K definitely developed strength of character. Of course, being a big sister of an autistic brother further deepens her compassion and kindness for others, especially those who aren’t the social ideal.

Mostly, she’s glad to be attending high school next year.  In secondary school, she can choose courses that interest her, form friendships with peers who have similar interests, and not be confined to one teacher all day. I think she’ll excel in this free thinking atmosphere, especially with her artistic nature.

Conversely, I was quite disappointed by the blatantly biased awards ceremony.  When I graduated grade eight, every classmate received some kind of recognition for one thing. Let’s face it, every kid is good at something. For example, I was great at academics and received that award, while my cousin was a fantastic artist and received recognition for his skill.  Grad should be a time to let all kids shine.

Unfortunately, my daughter’s school gave certain kids all the awards. Interestingly, these were also the kids who were the children of doctors, lawyers and other teachers. In other words, the ‘popular’ kids. I feel that the school failed the grads in this respect. What a way to send kids off to their academic future; feeling inferior. Personally, I give the school a failing grade.

At the end of the day, tears were shed with bright, young faces shining into a hope filled future.  My heart stings somewhat to let go of my little girl and embrace this independent teen. Though you, my daughter, are not part of the ‘in-crowd’, you are stellar both inside and out. Shine bright my little princess. You are a star!

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