But this year is different. This year, after seven years in typical school, six years of homeschooling and one year of hybrid schooling, my son is graduating high school.
Graduating. High. School.
It’s totally surreal. Even though I’ve imagined it since the day he came into this world seven weeks early and tipping the scales at a bristling four pounds, four ounces, it’s still weird. We pushed so hard and braved so many IEPs and district mediations and bad school administrators that we almost forgot what we were trying to achieve.
It’s like I’ve been walking underwater for 14 years and my head’s just about to break the surface. And I couldn’t wait to see him roll across that stage in his cap and gown, his faithful (and aging) service dog at his side. I couldn’t wait to cry those tears, honk my nose and stuff that used tissue in my purse while I tried to snap pictures.
But my son said NO.
He didn’t want any part of it. No cap and gown, no pomp and circumstance, no anything.
No matter how I try to reason with him, He Will Not Be Moved.
This meant I had to think about why this was so damn important to me when he could care less.
So I started thinking about my favorite teachers; who they were and what lessons I still carry with me. And I began to realize that I really didn’t have any that I remembered from school (or even from college, for that matter.) Most of them came from my life experiences. My parents, of course. And Tracey Miller, took me under her wing, took me out on the streets and taught me how to be a reporter. Stephani Victor showed me how to fly when you don’t have a leg to stand on. Stacy and Sean Napoles gave me the greatest lesson in unconditional love EVER when they raised and trained my son’s service dog. For free. Then gave him up forever. (How is this even humanly possible??)
And then I realized that of all of the amazing people I’ve been blessed to learn from in my life, no one has taught me more than my son, Cole Massie. I wanted that graduation ceremony because I thought that was my prize.
But it isn’t.
My prize is all that my son has taught me over the years about acceptance, patience and perseverance. It’s the amazing adventures and discoveries we had during our homeschooling years. It’s the time we spent teaching and growing together.
Tell us about your favorite teacher and what lesson you learned from them in the comments below!