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My Joys my joys | Teen parenting

Quarantine Graduation | Part One: The Corona Kid

I had been planning for this month, June 2020, for years.  This is the time when both my boys would once again stand side by side as graduates. The first time was 8 years ago, when Ryan graduated 8th Grade, and Liam, kindergarten.


This year they would be almost shoulder to shoulder- with Ryan graduating college and Liam, 8th grade. Not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the world of social distancing and virtual classes and quarantine graduations we are living in now.

You know me, I am an optimist by nature- and I’m determined not to let the terrible situation we are in now expand beyond its already broad boundaries.  Times can be hard, but days can still be good.

I can’t lie though- the thought of sitting in front of a television for the boys’ virtual graduation ceremonies was heart breaking. Not a first world problem, but I’d be misleading you if I said I didn’t break down and cry alone for the special moments I knew the boys would be missing- and I felt cheated as well.  No big celebration to mark the end of this awesome journey we had been taking together-  no stirring pomp and circumstance, no honors ceremonies, no family, no friends around.  It just felt terrible alone, dystopian and cold.

Deep breath. I needed to make a change in attitude because I know, as mama, my vibe is the one that sets the tempo for the family.  We can’t control the fact that there is a world pandemic, and that we are living in a hot zone here in NYC- but I can determine the way we rise to handle it as a family. 

The little guy’s graduation ceremony is on hold for now.  His school is waiting to see how the summer plays out and we have a tentative date in August.

Ryan’s graduation however, was officially virtual and he was all against celebrating until I came up with a theme my 21 year old approved as being fun! We were going to embrace Corona- but define it in our own way.

I went online designed this fun Corona themed shirt for him and went crazy shopping on Amazon for a few decorations that I know wont go to waste! (I spent less than $100 for everything- not including the food!)


I made this invitation to share with family for our “Zoom” Fiesta and modified it as a laminated sign to hang up as a decoration at our home graduation celebration!

The fun part was, I didn’t tell the boys about the decorations at all! I had the mariachi music playing, and then called them down and they were definitely happy with the way it all turned out! We had a big taco and guac spread and it turned out to be a fun evening!

I even got the boys to agree to a fun photo shoot.  I bought the little guy’s gown on Amazon (it was about $25.00) and we went to a local park.  These were most definitely not the traditional formal photos I had thought we would take – but I’m happy with the way they came out.  The smile in the face of adversity- the embracing of Plan B may be the most important lesson my boys have learned to date! 

PS: I’ll update and share how we celebrate the Quaren-teen’s special day! 


Update: Because so many of you wrote to me asking for a label set like the one I designed for our Fiesta to use for your own celebrations, I put together this  customizable PSD fun pack! 

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  • Reply
    May 22, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Congratulations to all! Looks like you nailed it!

    • Reply
      May 22, 2020 at 11:50 am

      Thanks Jacque! They definitely had fun- and that’s what got me through! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lori P.
    May 22, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Fabulous! Best to your boys. I am the mama of three boys myself–oldest “graduated” from college (no ceremony) two weeks ago. I’m right there with you–feeling all the feels. Crazy times. Stay healthy and safe.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2020 at 9:44 am

      Thank you Lori! Congrats on your graduation!- definitely not what we had been expecting for all these years- but like I told the boys- once things are back to being social again- we are going to have the HUGEST party ever!

  • Reply
    Kim Smith
    May 22, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    I expected you to rise above and get creative with the situation – now that’s how you make lemonade when handed lemons! So happy they were pleased with the celebrations! Congratulations to both of your sons, but how is it Ryan is graduating college already? Seems like it was just last year that he graduated high school, lol!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2020 at 9:42 am

      Kim! Thanks for the smile! I think now more than ever it’s really important to steer your attitude away from the rocks- and I can tell you- plenty of days I feel like my ship is taking on water- but you have to keep the course, right? Because the other option isn’t one I want to guide my family down.

      🙂 and yes! I KNOW!!! These may have been the quickest 4 years ever! I have to try and find a way to slow it down for Liam!

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