My Son’s Graduation: A Measure of Things Learned

Good day friends!

My apologies folks. Due to glitch in real time (mine), the pet peeves blog promised last Friday should be running this upcoming portal to the weekend. (When lots of exciting tennis is expected to happen!!! And yes, I plan to be there, lol. :D)

The other night, while at my son’s eighth grade graduation ceremony (OMG! How did he grow so much already????), I got to experience something spectacular.

I’d already been deeply touched to watch one of the special needs kids be presented an award for most motivated to self-improve (or something similar—I don’t remember the details). This particular child attended a class/program designed for the unique considerations of those students whose IQs run on the significantly low side. As an occupational therapist who works with so many of these kids (and familiar with this one) I was pleased beyond words to see this girl—who daily strives to work to the very best of her capabilities—receive an award alongside a regular education student. (Only two were given.)

One by one, by homeroom, each graduate was called by name and handed his/her certificate. You could easily tell how popular a student was by the volume of applause and cheers for a given individual.

I never conceived what came next. The special needs class was called. Two-hundred-thirty-six eighth graders erupted into a standing ovation and maximum volume roar for this very special four, who positively beamed and preened down the aisle, heads held high and smiles wide enough to see from the top bleacher. (I get goose-bumped and teary-eyed every time I think of it.)

The evening progressed to refreshments with my son and his friends in the school cafeteria. I told him what a wonderful thing this graduating class had done by supporting their special needs classmates the way they had. He casually responded, “During rehearsal I told Bobby (whoever that is) we should clap for them.”

Earlier that evening I’d felt disappointed knowing my son would not receive an academic achievement award; he’s ridiculously capable but not terribly motivated when it comes to studying. After he shared that, I realized he’d achieved far beyond what any trophy, certificate  or gift card could ever show.