One graduated from high school last night. It was a rainy day, that cleared at the last minute to permit an outdoor ceremony. It made the day extra-special, because my mother was able to attend. She's been recovering from an upper respiratory infection, and was advised not to lock herself in a hot auditorium full of pathogens. Instead, she and her red chariot got prime seating in front of the podium. There were damp eyes all around as her first grandson strode across the stage.
He is now sleeping soundly, having safely returned from "Project Graduation," an all-night graduation party that the PTA hosts at our local community college. I awoke every hour last night, perhaps from some adverse Percocet reaction, but more likely because my boy was off with hundreds of seniors, most of whom don't know him.
One spent his high school career in self-contained classrooms. This means he was educated with adaptations for his needs. All students are required to follow the same curriculum, but in some cases, the pace of the work was modified, or abridged versions of texts were used for instruction. Usually, his classes had no more than ten pupils. His high school is teeming with 1600 students. He participated in some mainstream classes, such as phys ed and computers, but for the most part he has a very small group of "classroom friends," as we call them.
The Captain and I were worried when we dropped him off for the party. All the kids were clustered outside the school in groups, and One wandered a bit, before stopping to talk to a young man, who smiled and answered his questions as we drove away. I have no idea if the boy knew One, or if he was just being polite. As we left him, I decided either was acceptable. One was socializing.
We sent our lad with his cell phone, with instructions to call if he wanted to come home.
At 12:30 I texted to ask if he was having fun.
At 2:30 he answered, "Yes."
"Do you want Dad to come get you, or are you going to stay?"
So, he's not unlike my other teenagers, in general non-verbosity.
When One arrived home, he told me he wasn't tired, because when he was hypnotized, they told him he would awake from the spell feeling well rested. Yikes. I didn't get many more details of the night, because I persuaded him to climb in bed. I hope he had fun.
And with that thought, I am reminded that my concerns for my special guy aren't that different from parents of all children. I want him to have friends, to be accepted for who he is, to go enjoy life. But I will always worry more about him than some of my other sons. I am so proud of what he has accomplished. I hope I can let go of some of my fear, and let him achieve even more.