According to Merriam-Webster, fantabulous means “marvelously good”. My youngest son’s graduation from High School last evening was fantabulous. It was just an outstanding evening that gave me chills as well as brought me to tears.
If you’ve read my posts before, you know that Alex had a rough road getting to graduation day. At times it seemed like we would never get through it all. My mother-in-law remarked last evening that she “never thought he would make it”.
As I listened to all the valedictorians, class presidents, salutatorians, etc. give their speeches and blab on and on about how they finally made it, I felt a little annoyed that these “perfect” children were griping about the long road they’d traveled. I sometimes feel like the brains or the popular kids have nerve complaining about how hard it is. I’m sure they struggled in their own way, but give me a break here.
As I watched Alex, it hit me real hard – all the meetings, all the plans, all the teachers, all the aides, all the therapists, all the administrators, all the bureaucracy and red tape, all the fighting I’ve had to do over the years, all the crap and all the nonsense – it’s done. They put him in this program and that program. Everyone always had an opinion as to what they thought was best for him.
As a parent it was real hard to listen to all their expert opinions and try to weigh what they were saying against what I thought was best for my son. The really, really interesting thing was that during the past 1-2 years, I deliberately stepped back and let Alex call the shots. That was when he excelled. He picked his program last year, and this year he decided that he didn’t want to do one thing that was suggested, and he wanted to be in the mainstream classes during the afternoons. I was told point blank, “he can’t do that”. I put my foot down and said, “this is what he’s decided he wants to do. I am behind him on this one. Let him try it.” He ended up on the High Honor Roll consistently this year. Just goes to show you that sometimes the experts don’t know everything. Alex knew what he wanted, and he was determined to make it work.
When he approached the stage last evening, I put my camera down. My older son asked me, “Aren’t you going to take his picture?” I knew I couldn’t do it. My husband had my back. He had moved closer to the stage, and he videotaped Alex’s moment. I clapped, whistled and cheered instead. Once he left the stage, I lost it. Our last name starts with “F”. They were well into the “G”’s before I was again able to watch kids getting their diplomas. I couldn’t see through my tears.
So many years and so many struggles are behind us. We’re done. It’s fantabulous.