I had a really hard time when Nico graduated. I am not sad for him to leave junior high, it was not the greatest of experiences. It had its highs and lows. As I stood there watching Nico walk down the aisle, it occurred to me: It will always be different.
I know this because I have four kids. Two with a label and two without and when I watch Belle dance or cheer or sing in a school program or I see Gia dance in her little class, I feel so much love and pride, I could burst. What mother doesn’t? When Nico and Tommy are on a field or a court or in a school program or…graduating…I feel something different. There is the pride. There is definitely the love but it is different.
I don’t even have the words which is…I know…shocking. We know the facts. We know what they are up against. And yet…they are on that field. They are on that court.
Nico walked across that stage and I thought, “Thank You, God, that he is healthy.” Maybe the tears of love and pride were mixed with the fear of what might come. I know we can’t live like that and for the most part I don’t but I wanted to freeze time. He is healthy. Every year that passes is a “Screw You” to what he battles and the number that hangs over our heads but in the nicest of ways because I wouldn’t want to wag my finger in the face of it only for it to come at him with a vengeance. Maybe the tears were from it hanging over us even on the day of his graduation, a day that should be complete joy. I know they were tears of triumph and relief because junior high was difficult (for both of us) and he made it through in one piece.
High school. New issues. New joys. New pains. I don’t like change. I will spend a lot of time praying…that he stays healthy…that he gets to do the things he loves to do…all the same things that every other parent worries about. But…it will be different. Because of the label I hate so much…it will always be different.
- We got one! Thanks to Andrea and Roy!