Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kindergarten Graduation

Today was a momma-heart-walking-around-outside-my-body day. Today was B's kindergarten graduation.  Which I had thought was not going to be a big deal.  We did this last year too.  I wasn't sure I was going to get over to the elementary school for the ceremony.  Today was an exam day at the middle school. Plus, we had a million other things going on.  I had tried to prep B last night for the possibility that I wouldn't be there.  I told him no matter what, Ms. Lori would be there.  Ms. Lori is our neighbor and one of my best friends.  But thanks to my super awesome sister-in-law/school counselor covering my class I was able to make it!

As I walked into the elementary school I encountered Mrs. Valenta, who lets Brennan play with her tassel necklaces. Today he told her she had on a double tassel necklace.  Next I ran into Mrs. Bryant.  She had just let Brennan button and unbutton her jacket for the last ten minutes.  I found Brennan and told me he was nervous.  Mr. Smith confirmed this by telling me Brennan had to be convinced to come to the awards.

Brennan did a great job during the ceremony.  He sat on the floor with his class.  He stood in line and waited his turn to get his envelope of awards.  He hugged his teacher and returned to his seat.  About halfway through the next class Brennan got up and came towards me at the back of the gym.

B and his #1 pal Mr. Smith
"Momma, do you mind if I have a little chat with Mr. Smith? It's about our buddyship."

I should stop here to say that it's been a rough year.  I don't want to get into all of but, suffice it to say that B could not handle his regular classroom.  Mr. Smith is the behavioral specialist at the elementary school.  Brennan has been self-contained with Mr. Smith for most of the spring.  In May, Brennan told the neurologist that Mr. Smith was his #1 pal.
Brennan, Mr. Smith and I walked to the back of the gym.  Brennan's eyes were big with big tears.

"Mr. Smith, our buddyship has come to an end.  We can't be buddies anymore.  I have to go to 1st grade.  We wouldn't be in the same class anymore. I can't do it.  I'm really nervous to go to 1st grade. I can't write 100 sentences in 1st grade.  I wouldn't be with you anymore." (some of this is paraphrased.  I was alternately trying not to cry and trying not to laugh).

Mr. Smith did a great job of reassuring B that 1st grade would be great.  And that even though he was going to be in a regular class, they would see each other everyday.  I teared up.  Mrs. Bryant and Mrs. Tutle (the principal and B's #2 pal) were nearby and they teared up as well.

I thought my heart would burst.  I was so proud of how Brennan handled his emotions.  He didn't meltdown.  He expressed himself beautifully.  It really summed up the year of growth he's had and what a huge role Mr. Smith played in that growth.

Please don't buy the lie that autistic kids aren't emotional.  Sometimes it's a matter of being able to express those emotions.  Today Brennan was able to express himself.  We'll see about tomorrow.

1 comment :

Letishi Gunnels said...

Well, now I'm crying! Love that boy!!!!