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To the Parent whose Kid was Empty-Handed at the Awards Ceremony

I saw you over there from my seat in the back row.

We stuck it out, you and I—two tedious hours of an elementary school awards ceremony to acknowledge all the hard work and effort throughout the year.

Two hours of seemingly endless list of names called out, a few over and over and over again.

I saw you clapping for each and every one of those children, even when the same name was called out for the 17th time. I saw you offering congratulatory smiles to the parents tripping over themselves to get the best spot for photos in the middle of the aisle.

I noticed your smile grew a bit tight as the long minutes passed. I’m sure mine looked exactly the same as we waited, you and I. The number of commended kids grew and grew while we waited and waited for our kids’ names to be called.

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