about high school graduations in Jamaica

So I was griping about Miss World’s graduation, scheduled for about 2 1/2 hours from now…after all, she doesn’t even know if she has passed her CSEC exams yet!  And here in Jamaica, you don’t get to progress without CSEC subjects in hand.  I was going on and on about how schools ought to wait until exam results are out before this big hoopla with cap, gown, pictures, rings, balls and the like.  But my good friend Raymond forced me to think.  Yesterday he offered his congrats to Miss World and commended me for being a great mom.  I fended him off, remarking that results are pending.  He replied with his usual forthrightness: “It doesn’t matter what the results are, Kelly.  Rachael is a good girl.  And you did your best with her.  It could have been way different”.  His comments marinated in my sub-conscious, and today I realised and accepted and celebrated.  Rachael marks the end of five years of high school today. She made the honour roll every year since grade 7.  She completed piano up to grade 4 level.  She found her niche in the glee club at her school and the Music House became her haunt…a place where she automatically went to even when she didn’t have a rehersal or class there. She writes so well.  She took to high school like a duck to water after feeling like an outsider at prep school, being such a quiet, introverted child.  She is a funny, smart, witty and gorgeous girl who has stayed off drugs and did not get pregnant. She started grade 7 with her parents going through a dramatic and painful separation.  She endured this, including moving house, her mom starting a new job and never missed a beat.  Grade 11 was rough…for both of us.  I felt that she lost focus and was not doing all she could to win.  Both of us know what I mean, and we await CSEC results in August.

Our children are NOT us.  We have been blessed with these little people, to nurture them, to provide for them and to help them be all they can be. I know I have not consistently been the best parent in the world for sure.

So today I celebrate with our daughter for completing five years of high school…for making us proud along the way.  And we’ll be there no matter what to support and love her into her future.  Congrats, Rachael. we love you.

Rachael in Grade 8
Rachael the Graduate

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