Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pomp and circumstances beyond our control...

"Gasping at glimpses of gentle true spirit; he runs wishing he could fly only to trip at the sound of goodbye"
~Stephen Stills~

 I have a profile page on Facebook.  I use the site primarily as a way to keep informed of all the things happening in the world 'o autism.  It has connected me to people, groups and organizations I might never have known about.  Through it I have made some wonderful friends and connections.  Well, Facebook has this little section on the right hand side where it suggests people you might like to "friend"  Usually, they are friends of friends.  In other words, people who share the same interests that you do.  If I know of this person, or they are connected to many of my friends, I will take Facebook up on their suggestion. Today however, Facebook crossed the line..made a suggestion that had me shaking my head in disbelief..made me pose the question  "Just who does Facebook think I am?" ...and more importantly "Why?"  Yes, today Facebook recommended that I friend none other than "Regis Philbin"  What the hell???  What Could I possibly have in common with him??  He's a creepy old guy that shouts too much!  What in the world have I done or posted that would make Facebook think I should connect with Regis??? Do they think I'm incontinent?  I'm 46!  Not old and complacent!  I have full use of my limbs! (being immobile is only way you would ever catch me watching his show-seeing that I would be unable to move and couldn't reach the remote to change the channel)  Until today,(and the Regis suggestion) I hadn't ever really thought about my age. I am who I am...sigh...if only it were that easy for Sammy.

  It was a big week for Sammy. My gentle boy, my shining light, the kid who we were once told not to have too many expectations for, that same boy we were told "wouldn't" or "couldn't"-THAT BOY, graduated from elementary school this week...and I am breathless. Also a little worn out..

  It was a long ceremony that could have been a whole lot shorter.  First they had to give awards to the kids with the best immune systems. Yes, there is an award for the kids who did not miss one day of school.  Maybe it is just me-but you want me sending my kid in when he has the flu?  Is it his fault if he happens to get sick? Is not getting sick really worthy of an award?  Then there were awards for participating in chorus (most kids did).  So we had to sit while fifty or so kids went up to receive that award..then there were the "participating in band" awards. Remember the trombone?  There seemed to be awards for everything...and it felt like five hundred million kids each got them..and we had to patiently clap for every single one of them. But the most ridiculous (in my opinion) award was for meeting the equivalent in standardized tests.  We all know those tests-every state has them.  So in the first place, giving awards for something they are supposed to have done  is.well...kind of redundant. In the second place MOST of these kids did NOT meet the standards in BOTH reading and math.(4 met neither)  Only handful exceeded in both subjects. Yet all but those four kids got an award. What does that say?  Mediocrity is o.k.? Excelling is no big deal-because everyone is going to be recognized?  Why have standards if you don't hold them up?

 It was a long ceremony.  I started to feel like we were at that part of the Academy awards that doesn't get televised-because no one but the recipient cares about the award.  Don't get me wrong!  There were nice parts as well. The kids got to hand out flowers to the people who meant the most to them at school.  Sammy gave his to his first grade teacher-who absolutely rocks!  She was the first teacher who saw his potential and accepted him for who he is.  She helped lay down the foundation that led to his love of learning.  We adore her-and Sammy-he loves her dearly. But to me, the greatest part of the ceremony (besides the end)..was when their  were four special awards given-Writing, Math, History, and Science.  These were given to the kids who showed the most interest-the most passion-and because of that-the most promise for these things.  My Sammy-(remember the boy we were told not to expect much from?)  My Sammy won the science award. Again I was breathless..and amazed and in awe..and utterly overwhelmed with love for my boy.  Because he can-because he does-and because he will.  The ceremony ended with the fourth graders playing the same four notes over and over on their recorders (music teacher is retiring)  as each of the fifth graders names were called and they received their certificate of graduation. To say that I was overwhelmed would be an understatement  as I watched Sammy receive his. My lovely boy, my gentle taking flight.. 

  It was a big week for him, and the beginning of a lot of changes.  He's having such a tough time with all of it.  There is a part of him that longs to grow up-and a part that clings desperately to childhood. He is standing in that hard place between being a boy and becoming a young man-and he doesn't care for it.  Not one bit.  Today we were talking about our towns summer recreation program-and he got very upset with me..
"Hey buddy...maybe in a few years instead of GOING to summer rec, you can be one of the counselors." .."I don't WANT to be a counselor!  I just want to go!"  "But Sammy-there will come a time when you are too old to be one of the kids..." He didn't like that idea at all...he got all teary..I tried to explain.."Remember when you watched "The Wiggles" all the time..(24/7) and I told you that there would come a time when you didn't like them anymore(I was desperate)?"  "yeah..."  "Well you said that you would NEVER stop watching "The Wiggles"!!"...well, do you watch them now? " "No.."  "See..?.you stopped when you were ready to..growing up just kind of happens..without you even thinking about it..o.k.?  "O.K....but I still don't want to be a counselor!"  "Yeah..well I don't want to be friends with Regis Philbin!"  "Who?"..."Never mind.."


Kim Wombles said...

Hee, you're hilarious. :-)

Yay, Sammy!

Floortime Lite Mama said...

so so soso s o funny
You really made me smile
the funnier thing about Facebook is how it urges me to write on the wall of a friend who I have not facebooked in a while

kathleen said...

Thanks Kim and k-floortime. :) Facebook freaks me out sometimes..but Regis freaks me out even more..

Casdok said...

Big congrats on the science award -up up and away!

jazzygal said...

Yes Kathleen, a friend suggestion like that would freak me out too! The age thingy also freaks me out (I'm 48) as the ads on my sidebar are all about the menapause and wrinkles. What do I know about such things???!!

I am mega impressed with your Sammy what a fine young man he will be ;-)
A science!

These award ceremonies can be very long. Don't think it's right that they give awards for passing standardised tests. It's not the children's fault if they can't pass them...just like it's not their fault if they get sick.

xx Jazzy

P.S. Did you catch the mouse?? eeeeekkk!!

kathleen said...

Thanks Casdoc! He flies and he shines..and away he goes..lovely.

Hi Jazzy-yeah the fb stuff downright scares me...and yet I wonder..does Regis log on...and if he does-do they suggest that he friend me? ;0

The awards for the test are silly..and I think of the four lone kids whose names weren't called (Sammy being one of them) Way to inspire confidence-you know?

we caught three mice..none of them were blind..and there is a blogpost one day about how Omar just throws them in a bag in the trash bin...and when I go to throw something away, I hear desperate squeeking...eeeeuuuuuuuuu...:)