Graduation Day for my Son

Posted: June 15, 2018 by Ty in Current Events, Spirituality
Tags: ,

It was awesome. Hugs, tears, laughs, stories and remembering those who were not able to be here, for they have passed on to the next journey (and yes that is his classmates, not just his elders). My son, finally crossed another milestone—Grade 6 graduation. The honoured Canadian tradition when a typical child leaves elementary (grade school) and will start junior high the coming fall. But what is traditionally typical in childhood?

A day of fun. As his teachers shared that my son can be vocal, fun loving, looking for new friends, hanging with old, ditching gym to do other things with best buds and that if he holds an opinion…you will know it.

He freely speaks his mind (seriously I have no clue who he gets that from says his meek Daddy).

Another typical end of the year celebration, but one that brings many memories to bear. The typical path to the elementary school diploma, in no particular order the past 12.5 years:

He gets his Irish on.

(Former Aide from England on my boi’s stubbornness)

2 strokes. Epileptic brain activity. Tri-spastic cerebral palsy. Literally half-his brain gone (except for a sprigget). 3 months old told to pull the plug. Each year told come back next year maybe there will be a prognosis. ADD diagnosis. 2 years ago told to prepare for a seizure to take his life…in hospital for testing to come out with—coffee as the script… two foot reconstructions…a time of fighting with neurologists to look at his medication as he takes severe feveral seizure that places us in isolation…Botox injections to loosen muscles…hernia operation…muscle lengthening operations…physio…rehab…speech therapy…swimming (our little fish)–man can that boy dance…

Marching for his rights to be treated as a person.

                Philanthropy raising money for his buds in Children’s Wish and ACH through his Poppa’s playhouse parades throughout southern Alberta with his sister. Providing chaplaincy care in a dementia wing with Daddy. Sister and him helping residents exit homelessness build health community and family by well kids being kids. Grieving. His best friend. His elders. Donations of things galore. A friend a month for almost 2 years. His beloved puppy. Cheering on new residents he meets in Special Olympics. His fear, as his Daddy enters health crisis that Daddy will die on him. A school board telling us accept death its inevitable with children like him or “stress exists cause you chose to keep it.” Having people lay hands in public to pray he will be “normal” and be shocked when he smacks them away. A Sunday school teacher talking directly to him to ask if he would like to join their group. Battling 5 years for 1 new chair, and almost 9 months awaiting the next. Working systems that are broken in one offs for equipment that needs to be resilient to your in the now needs, and progressive as you age and may/may not need…dealing with some of the weirdest indignities a government can dream up to prove “worthy” and “not defrauding” for funding sources.

Churches embracing as he dances with tambourines and hair flying. Heckling his Dad in the pulpit. Plotting Sunday school take overs. Being part of a dynamic multi-ability Sunday school and honorary youth group member. Part of an affirming celebration for belonging. Forced out by seniors because “kids like him shouldn’t be here” or thrown out from the pulpit by a minister who lost their way for a joyful noise at Christmas. Hugs from other ministers. Farm words. Tossed out because he made the “big donors” uncomfortable. Playing his communication button to be in a Canadian Christmas Pageant. Being brought into the Calgary Canucks dressing room to meet his heroes. The team making him and his sister belong. Shocking the players, his heroes, by asking for autographs. Loving his story books and movies. Sharing stories. Having people stare. Ask waitresses to get him out of the restaurant. Watching staff stand up and toss these bigots out.

The greatest fear of a parent usually is you will outlive your child. My greatest fear is   my son will outlive me, and he will be left at the mercy of a system that sees him as less than human.

The laugh. That smile. The mischievous twinkle. The empathy of knowing a passing is going to happen or how he can feel the emotions of those who may not communicate typically and know the comfort they need. Being told as a parent how sad it must be to have a child that will never (fill in your b.s. milestone) or that there is no need for human sexuality education, because well they never will.

Having one school teach him to place his hand in his mouth when excited, so now he causes pain. Having the next school so support him and his rapid progression, but be heart broken with only 6 spots for graded school and tell us they know he could continue to grow…but the spot is needed for a student they believe the family will not support or advocate for so he is transitioning out.

Sitting in private school meetings and hear the staff trying to “sell” spots, refer to your child as a “retard” and wonder why you tell them off.

To the Christian school that states they will take the extra money, but it will not go for his needs but for the school as a whole.

To meeting the CBE placement, and seeing the shock on the principal’s face when told there was  not a strong academic stream in the school that needed to be fixed or you would take all the money the province provided for your child and home school (with the shock on your wife’s face). Be told that is not how it works, smile and simply say, “he is cute, I love media, just watch me”…

The boi wanting to grow up to be Teal’c (Stargate SG-! my peeps). And at the June meeting at school end meeting the new teacher hired who could do—academics. Or grow up to be Tonto, Kirk, Spock, Luke or Vader. Possibly Iron Man or Superman—he loves Superman or Scotty.

Watching him grow throughout 6 years. Watching as his friends pass away. Tears soak through the shirt. Fists he pounds. Screams out why does the God he feels called him to be a pastor, kill his friends. To a Daddy with no more answers, just simply holding his son as you cry together knowing there is one more angel friend that will be visiting.

Never grieving what could’ve been.

Simply because, he is your son. He will be who he is meant to be. He will journey this life and live fully how he is meant to be. He will love. He will laugh. He will be a Daddy as he talks about, and a buddy, and he will…without a doubt…

Shatter this old world and make it a better one.

To my inventor, scientific, curious, wisdom keeper son. You are beloved. You will change this world. You already have, on the very typical journey you have taken to your grade 6 graduation. As all your angel and earthly friends celebrated the ending of another beginning.

Happy Graduation Day!



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