In 6th grade I was in the Yearbook Club at my school. I was asked to draw the cover for our yearbook, and I remember thinking about what a fitting image would be to symbolize the last 7 years we students had spent together.
While it may have been a bit much to equate moving into middle school to moving around the world, to me, it was kind of the same. I was so nervous that between the jump from elementary school to middle school, I would somehow become lost, friendless and alone. I wanted to stress that we would be connected, no matter when, no matter where – because we grew up together.
The head of the yearbook club, Mrs. A, rejected the drawing. Her reason was that everyone knew the chances of us remaining ‘friends forever’ was ridiculous, and that I should have drawn something more practical. Needless to say, I was devastated.
My mother, who was a strict believer in “what the teacher says is the final word”, and also “fight your own battles” came to school to argue on my behalf (she only ever did this twice in my whole life) and we got the cover approved by the principal.
I had spread out mural paper for the 5th graders to draw on last week and though most students ripped off what they drew to take home, some gems were left behind. Almost like graffiti tags, or etching their names into a closet wall before moving.
I think in times of transition it becomes pressingly clear on us how much we want to be remembered, want to have made an impression on others, want to have been part of something special.
For kids, like the AMAZING 5th graders who are graduating from 89 today, it hits harder than for adults because leaving things behind is still new to them.
Congratulations to a special group of students who will hopefully be “Friends Forever” and who have most definitely left behind some wonderful memories that I know I will cherish forever.