They’ll never say, “I’m glad my last orchestra concert was a Zoom meeting instead.”

They’ll never say, “A car parade was better than a graduation.”

They’ll never say they were happy they missed their spring season of sports or their class trip or prom.

Even for the ones who know it was worth it, they’ll never say they weren’t sad that everything they looked forward to for so long was taken away.

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But they’ll remember the teachers who tried to make things as special as they could.

Like the ones who were technologically-challenged yet tried to still do a night of awards or who showed up at front doors to help with homework or who drove around town to set up lawn signs for seniors.

They’ll remember the friends who left signs in front lawns for birthdays or corsages on doorsteps for canceled dances or milkshakes as a surprise in mailboxes.

They’ll remember coaches who kept telling them to stay strong. They’ll remember grandparents who touched their fingers to screens during FaceTimes. They’ll remember front line workers putting their lives on the line.

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They’ll remember moms and dads who let them bake and stay up late and took long bike rides around lakes; who learned TikToks and FortNite and how to make fondant; who let broken-hearted girls cry in their arms and crushed young men put their head on strong shoulders. They’ll remember watching their parents working hard—oh so hard—trying to keep their loved ones safe.

One day, long after the pain and sadness and heartbreak subsides, they’ll find a tenderness for this time.

And they will remember when those around them tried to make something unfathomable a little better.

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They’ll never say they were glad their world came to a halt, but they will always remember the people who tried to keep it turning for them.

This article was originally published on Playdates on Fridays by Whitney Fleming

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.