Here’s to the kids who were supposed to get their braces off after two long years, and now have to wait a few more months.

Here’s to the kids who couldn’t wait to get their driver’s licenses, and now they check daily to see when the DMV will open.

Here’s to the kids who are wondering if there will be any sort of graduation ceremony culminating 13 years of school, or if they will get to attend freshman orientation over the summer at their selected college—or if there will even be a fall semester.

Here’s to the kids who are wondering if they will miss their first time as a camp counselor or employee at the froyo stand or the internship they worked so hard to get.

Here’s to the kids who were hoping to get their first kiss at the prom.

Here’s to the kids who dreamed of going to States in track or baseball or show choir. Here’s to the kids who wanted to put themselves out there and try something new this spring. Here’s to the kids who worked hard all year to come back from an injury.

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Here’s to the kids who found their tribe in the band or orchestra or drama department and now feel lost without their people.

Here’s to the shy boy who was working up the courage to ask the new girl out for a movie. Here’s to the lonely girl who was just starting to make friends in her art class.

Here’s to the kids who have studied all year for their ACTs and now sit anxiously wanting to get it over and done with.

Here’s to the kids who have worked hard all year to build up their GPAs and now are unsure if their grades count.

And here’s to the kids who miss school because it was their safe place, where they were fed, where someone showed they were valued and loved.

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Here’s to the kids whose lives are forever changed, forever branded with the mark of a virus that they do not fear but impacts them greatly.

We talk about big events like proms and graduations and college tours, but it’s not the big things they are missing. It’s the moments woven into these milestones, the imprints of these rites of passage.

We won’t know the long-term damage this will have on our kids for years, so let’s lift them up while we can.

Their grief is real, even if it seems small to us.

Their sadness is justified.

Their lives are changed.

May we remember their perspective is small and their feelings are big.

We can’t give you back the moments, the experience, the time, but we can acknowledge it hurts.

Here’s to the kids.

Originally published on Playdates on Fridays by Whitney Fleming

P.S. These are strange, TOUGH times. We love this shirt in the Her View From Home Shop as a reminder that no matter what we go through, He is stronger.

Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a communications consultant, and blogger. She tries to dispel the myth of being a typical suburban mom although she is often driving her minivan to soccer practices and attending PTA meetings. She writes about parenting, relationships, and w(h)ine on her blog Playdates on Fridays.