Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Golden Gate Bridge

I was paging though the calendar they sent home from school. It was Thursday, the second day of school, and I had just learned that high school pictures would be taken tomorrow. That means, pictures that would be included in the yearbook. My mind quickly wandered back to my own freshman year and all of the yearbook photos, many of which I would rather forget.

I continued to page through the calendar: ACT Test on September 16th and college information night on September 21st . I wasn’t even through September and already this was getting hard for me. Pep Assembly and Homecoming Parade on October 5th followed by the Homecoming Dance on October 7th. I guess the good news was that I didn’t have to enter any of these dates on our home calendar, since Dear Son wouldn’t need to attend any of these. I might be able to live without the first two, but gosh, I’d love to see Dear Son all dressed up, taking some young woman to a dance. I wondered who he’d pick and what she would be like. I’d help him pick out a corsage for her and take umpteen pictures of course while Dad would be taking videos. October 18th, the Fall Choral Concert was at 7:30 p.m. I remember how nervous I was trying out for the Concert Choir in high school and how proud I was to make it. I loved singing and the Fall Choral Concert brought back good memories. Of all the songs I learned back then, there is one that I still sing to Dear Son. It’s, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” with the words changed of course, to fit properly for Dear Son. I don’t think he’s ever heard the song, sung the way it was written, only my version sung to that tune.

Then came the big one, the one that got me. It was tucked in between some other events. It was the Driver’s Education Meeting. Dear Son would turn fifteen in November, just the age when he might be getting his permit and learning to drive with his Dad. His mother drives way too fast, so she would not be a good example, although I am proud to say, I don’t exceed the speed limit too often anymore. His Dad would be calm and helpful and teach Dear Son how to be a good driver and make the experience fun. He would be the perfect father for that.

Dear Son’s high school experience will not be like the other kids. Yes, he will be in the same place, but no where near the other kids. It’s kind of like being on opposite sides of the Golden Gate Bridge. Yes, you are on the bridge, but you are so far from the people on the other side, that the experience is not the same, it’s non existent. I remembered just a few weeks prior, after Dear Son’s MRSA pneumonia, when I dragged him to his graduation, that I would be thrilled if we made it to high school. And now that he was here, well, it was disappointing.

That was until Friday, when I walked into Dear Son’s classroom and was greeted by Patrick. Patrick, was the young man who rode the bus with Dear Son last year. The bus would pull up every afternoon and he would yell out, “Hi, Dear Son’s Mom!”. Patrick’s face would light up as I would ask him about his day, hoping to learn something about what Dear Son did, so we could talk about it when we went in the house. I asked Patrick, “How’s school going?” He looked me in the eye, smiled, and quickly corrected me. He said, “no, school, no school”, “high school”, “high school”. And indeed it was. He couldn’t be prouder. And neither could I. Thank you Patrick, for reminding me.

5 comments:

wolfbaby said...

ahh patrick sounds like a good guy... I remember a student in highschool who was special needs.. when he graduated they announced it during an assembly, that he would be graduating that year.. everyone was so proud of him...I remember thinking how amazing it was that everyone in the shool was kind to him and didn't do mean things.. I remember how sweet it was for them to announce that he would be graduating that year.. and most especially i remember how proud he was.. he couldn't stand up straignt very often do to his medical condition, but that day when ever I seen him he would be standing straight up... and everyone who passed by would tell him congradulations.. it was a special day that stands in my memory...He had hurdles that the rest of us could never understand and that one day he got the acknawldegment he deserved for surpassing those hurdles...

dki617 said...

Tell DS I say "Congrats on being in high school!"

Surgeon in my dreams said...

You are such an inspiration to me - I wanted you to know that.

Ruth said...

This blog is such a gift to other moms and dads with kids who have disabilities (and aunts like myself too).

Becca said...

Dream Mom... would Dear Son enjoy the homecoming dance? Lots of music, chatter, pretty girls... as long as he's well enough maybe it would be possible for him to go to at least a little bit of it?

I don't want to presume anything... but all the profoundly disabled people I know are pretty much equally divided between those that absolutely LOVE loud music and lots of action and dancing and those that hate it and would much prefer a quiet evening chilling out with just a couple of people. All or nothing, I guess!

Congrats, Dear Son - onwards and upwards!

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