Today I am feeling a little sad because my son, T, will not be graduating this month like we had originally planned. He will still graduate, but he does not have enough hours in for the work study part of his program just yet. Sigh.
I try very hard not to focus on what T does not or has not done. He is a unique individual, just like everyone’s child is. Sometimes it is harder though because his path has been so radically different from the “normal” path of most kids. As a mom I think we look forward to certain milestones that we did ourselves and want to see our kids doing similar things. I grew up doing plenty of things in school programs, I took dance lessons, played softball, was a Girl Scout, went to the junior high dances, went to my senior prom, and did the whole high school graduation ceremony and all the activities leading up to it. My brother is two years older and he also did a ton of things. T on the other hand does not like groups in general and is just not a joiner. His bipolar and anxiety had him on an alternate path in school. Just not a lot of the things I was expecting as a mom.
Now I love my son dearly. I am happy to support him in his interests to the best of my ability. Forcing him to do anything to meet my own personal needs is not an option for me even. But there is a mourning process for me. As I wrote last week about that melancholy feeling at Walt Disney World recently, I think this is all part of that same process for me. With it being his senior year in high school I just thought things would be so much different than what they are. I was looking forward to the craziness of ordering his cap and gown, getting senior pictures taken, planning a graduation party, ordering invitations, and even dealing with who gets to attend the ceremony if we were only allotted a few tickets. It seems like high school graduation is just as much a rite of passage for the parents as it is for the students.
So for now, I wait. T is in a program where he has actually completed all of his class work. He does not have to get up and go to school at all. What he does have to do is work (or volunteer) and get a certain number of hours registered. Once he does that he graduates. Right now though his job is not full time and I cannot seem to motivate him to get a second job or to even volunteer to get his hours in. This is extremely frustrating for me and Hubby. I guess frustration is just part of parenting a teenager though.
For all of you who are feeling overwhelmed with graduation activities for your kids right now please slow down and savor these moments. Enjoy the chaotic pace. Enjoy the achievement of your child and yourself. For those like me who are waiting patiently, I understand.