Vlaming Family Blog Post

Waverly Lifers

by Jeff Vlaming

Drop­ping your child off for the first day of school, you’re told to expect some emotions. Your kid will be hit with sepa­ra­tion anxiety even as you, the parent, may feel a similar pang your­self, watch­ing your child go off into the care of another, in an envi­ron­ment away from home. Tears may be shed.

For my wife, Kathy, and me, we’ve been there, done that. Twice. But what we didn’t expect were the emotions we’re encoun­ter­ing now, at the other end of our kids’ acad­e­mic ride. With our youngest son’s last day of high school approach­ing, we’re feeling our own sepa­ra­tion anxiety — in prepar­ing to say goodbye to The Waverly School where he’s attended from YK to high school.

At Waverly, both our boys are lifers.” But as they were seven years apart in school, when the first one, Laird, grad­u­ated in 2013, the second was just finish­ing fifth grade. So while each Vlaming boy attended the school for four­teen years, Kathy and I have been part of Waverly for twenty. We’re the real lifers here – and hence the reason for our sadness. As Trevor grad­u­ates soon, he has the summer and college in his sites. His mind, as it should be, is on what‘s next. But as he leaves Waverly, Kathy and I can only look back at the school we’ll be leaving behind.

Over those years, we got to know each of the boys’ teach­ers — small class sizes and a compas­sion­ate, invig­o­rat­ing faculty help make such a thing possi­ble. We witnessed Waverly expand from a single school build­ing into three sepa­rate, impres­sive, beau­ti­ful campuses. And we watched the athletic program grow and blossom into cohe­sive, spir­ited teams that lead the school to divi­sion compe­ti­tions and even titles. Now with the current coro­n­avirus shut­down, Waverly has seam­lessly switched classes to on-line, allow­ing Trevor to inter­act with his class­mates and teach­ers and continue learn­ing in real time. It’s just another indi­ca­tion that Waverly will continue to grow and prosper.

So, with a sudden­ness that’s been approach­ing in clear sight, our roles as Waverly parents are ending. No one likes to see anything good wrap up, but then again, every­thing ends – and it can be said without ques­tion that as the parents of two Waverly grads, it’s a happy ending. But even with a happy ending, tears may be shed.