Today is my son’s last day in elementary school. G graduates – with a formal ceremony and all - from sixth grade this evening. He has grown more in the last year at his new school than I ever could have expected.
His confidence has soared in this diverse environment where he is no longer the “different” kid.
He can hit a wiffle ball. With a bat!
Yesterday, no less than “seven girls” deemed him "good boyfriend material."
Who is this self-proclaimed "popular kid" with sportsability (okay, let's not go too far, but he might not be the last person picked -- and that's not nothing!) and a modicum of social ease (in certain contexts)?
For one thing, he's the once-doting son who now answers my every utterance with a groan of "mo-o-om" -- before I even finish:
"Clean your --"
"Well, I was gonna say, ‘Want some cookies…’"
The distance between the earnest, affectionate “Mama” of the always-cherubic child (am I blacking something out? Nah…) and the grunts and moans of the sullen tween is – infinite.
Yet he's still the guy who thinks he wants to stay up a little later “because I’m a big kid now,” and who falls asleep with his nose in a book, and, then, sleepily opens his arms wide for a snuggle when I come to tuck him in…
He’s still a guy with a lot of challenges ahead of him in middle school and life, but he feels really good about right now. Who wouldn’t, with “about twenty friends”????
Graduation. How did this go so fast? It’s certainly not a new or original story, but, like any rite of passage, it feels big to those of us involved. We’ve got his tie tied and his shirt pressed and hanging in his closet at the ready. In ways I could not have imagined a year ago, G himself is ready.
But I am not.
Stand with me, my friends, even those readers I’ve yet to meet. I’ll be the one bawling while my horrified son tries to avoid me in the school gym tonight.
Full Spectrum Mama