Sunday, June 28, 2020

Another Miss Milestones

High school isn't really easy for anybody, I imagine - it wasn't for me, anyhow, and I didn't have to take most of my grade 12 classes at home during a pandemic. But Glory did, and the stuff that didn't come to her naturally she assaulted with relentless tenacity and a work ethic that sometimes puts mine to shame. And now she has graduated!

It's kind of bittersweet, of course - instead of a big party, a classmate had Glory and a handful of other girls over to her backyard for a party. Audrey got corsages for all of them, and her friend's dad even built them a dance floor!

Instead of a fancy prom to show off the dress she had simply agonized over choosing, she had to settle for photos at the Legislature grounds with her best friend (and both families).

And instead of a big processional and banquet, she had to settle for a drive-thru graduation ceremony (and matching lunch).

And there was also a sweet, short vehicular parade by some families from church and both ministers, the first time we have seen some of these people since March.

And y'know, when you add up all these little commemorations and factor in the sometimes tremendous personal effort that went into them, it probably works out pretty comparably to graduating in a non-pandemic year. And even if it doesn't, it is still pretty significant - our youngest has graduated from high school!

It's been a long time getting to this point, but it's helped that Glory has always known her family is close at hand.

She has an unparalleled level of whimsy and knows how to play whatever hand she's been dealt.

While she doesn't read the news as much as she used to, she is always interested in current events and the state of the world.

Active to the point of exasperation, the last thing you would think of her as is a bump on a log.

Although she is no social butterfly, she is willing to meet people from all walks of life, wherever she might find them

She knows how important it is to find your kicks the right way.

And is keen on finding inspiration in nature.

You might think it is hard work to look as good as she does, but she is willing to put in the hours.

And Audrey and I can rest easy at times, knowing that our girls have always got each other's backs.

Glory has carried over a sense of wonder and appreciation from when she was very little...

...but sometimes it feels like she was born with her occasionally peculiar sense of humour.




Off to school with Fenya...

Or harvesting apples at home with Nanny...



Eager to start a new grade...

Or willing to play an unconventional role, like a manger-dwelling bat in the church Christmas pageant.

As colourful as a peacock, but not proud.

Brave enough to help me with a job on the roof...

...but silly enough to portray a bighorn sheep on a whim.

Willing to camp with her dad in the bitter cold...

..and eager to help build a model to commemorate our visit to Texas.

Someone who values the quality of her friends, not the quantity.

And whose taste in music still occasionally overlaps her father's.

It troubles me when I hear someone refer to their children as a burden, when both of mine has been such a blessing, even when they are on my back.

You try, fruitlessly to capture the way they are at a given moment, knowing that each day, each experience, each new grade will mold them, shape them into someone new, and you hope that new person will still relate to you.

When I took this picture, I joked that the caption should be, "Caution: Objects in mirror are growing faster than they appear," but knowing it and experiencing it are two wholly different things.

My littlest girl has completed the most major milestone in her life, the first of many, I am certain!

It is so many different things: an ending, a beginning, a harbinger of change and a reminder that some things will always be the same.

My beautiful, tall, brilliant, courageous, compassionate and funny daughter is graduating at an uncertain time and hoping to find her way in an increasingly unpredictable world. And despite having always wanted for her own experiences to be distinct from her sister's, Glory is going to follow in Fenya's footsteps and go to work in Churchill for the summer. It was decided only a week ago, she leaves in a week and I miss her terribly already.

But even with so many pandemic restrictions in effect, I know five months on the shore of Hudson's Bay will be awesome for her, and that she knows her family is behind her 100%, like we always have been.

When we were leaving the drive-thru grad, Glory had a chance to thank her favourite teacher, Mr. T, for all the work he did with her this semester. Like a champ, he said he was just doing his job, and that she was the one that put in all the effort. He turned to Audrey and I and said, "She is a hard worker, and I know you are proud of her, and I am proud of her too."

Proud indeed! And anxious, like she is, to see what's next.