Tonight I am attending my son's 8th grade graduation and I hope 1 box of tissues is all I will be needing. Handsome has been featured on my blog since he is 3 years old and at 15 has come so far. I am beyond proud of this guy. He spent many of his grammar school years trying to fit in. As an Autistic boy he didn't always get the joke, didn't always understand the question and didn't always read body language. I worked in the school and would watch with a heavy heart him trying to fit into the group and sometimes even being told "I am NOT your friend." He fortunately didn't ever know when peers were being mean. I did and it killed me.
Over the past 2 years there has been a huge change. He has matured beyond where I thought he would be and has many friends in school. His teachers and the administration respect him, tell me that he is one of the most popular kids in the school and today two teachers told me "he is honestly one of the best people I know" as well as "he is my favorite student to ever walk through those doors." I have told him for years that he is the best person I know so to hear that from people who are not his parent means the world to me.
One of the teachers told me as he hugged me that my son is the kindest person and will do amazing things. He said he will miss him so much and wanted me to know that he talks about him with his family and is in awe of how far he has come in the past 9 years (small district means the teachers are with us for a very long time which is one of the reasons this is so hard). He tried to tell me as he hugged me that this was because of me but I think it has everything to do with my son using all the tools we have taught him along with his Special Education team. He is amazing!
It will be a rough night but I will get through this and smile as he gets on stage to accept his rolled up blank paper with the green ribbon on it but tonight I will have a high schooler in September and I know the time is going to fly. My heart is heavy with love and tears. I hope I can make it through with some dignity.