Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's over--woo hoo!

Yep. It's official. The 2007-2008 school year is officially over (for the kids at least). I, for one, am thrilled!

It has taken me two days to recover from the end of "festivities." Elementary Honors Day was Tuesday, Middle and High School Honors Day was on Wednesday. DS10 received honors for being on the Straight A Honor Roll, highest GPA in both science and language arts (ahem, I wonder who he gets that from??? Could it be his Biology and English teaching Mom, perhaps???). DS11 received a medal and award from the DARE program. He wrote an award winning essay! He even read it aloud; I nearly fainted! He was excited that he was getting the honor, but said that he wouldn't read the essay, but that Officer Morris Pike of the Griffin, GA Police Department could read it for him. At the last minute, he decided to read it aloud (complete with microphone). When we asked him why he chose to do that he replied, "because my Daddy asked me to." Never underestimate the power of a comment to a child. Hubby mentioned in passing that he thought kiddo could do it. He never thought another word about it and was just trying to be positive. Boy howdy, did it work!

Nearly every teacher and staff member in attendance went nuts! They all know how hard it was for him to read that paper. You could hear the nervous warble in his otherwise (aspie) monotone voice. It took so much out of him. He was exhausted immediately afterward.

The best thing, you ask? Watching Officer Pike, who had worked on patrol from 7 pm the previous night to 7 am that morning and came to our ceremony was rubbing and patting his back, encouraging him every step of the way. You could see him whisper, "way to go, buddy. You're doing it" over and over again. That is a good man.

Not everyone is capable of being so kind and open to an autistic child. Frankly, they have moments when they are not really easy to deal with at all, much less to someone they don't know well. They don't like meeting strangers (at least mine isn't thrilled with it) and they don't open up and trust easily at all. Officer Pike worked pretty darn hard to reach my child, even though it ain't easy and there really wasn't anything in it for him.

Wow. I can see God working so clearly in this.

Graduation was stressful. In the absence of our headmaster, I was elected to play the role of emcee. Everything went fine. I didn't make any overly obvious mistakes. But, I was being so careful to make sure that I didn't mess things up, that I was an exhausted wreck for a couple of days. I am just now starting to feel relaxed again. But, all in all, it was a joyous celebration and a happy time.

Now, I am preparing to open my arms (and heart) to the class of 2009! They have been dubbed the "Macho class" by the previous seniors. I think I will take one of my student's advice and make them the "Macho Nachos" and decorate my classroom in sombreros, images of nachos. We will take a couple of field trips to the local Mexican restaurant for lunch. It's so much fun when we can find a theme to embrace. I can't wait!

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