Thursday, June 10, 2010

Graduation to the 4th Power

First was Sister's.

You can tell by the look on  her face that hyperarousal is already kicking in. I am just counting down to the fall-apart while trying to listen to the principal's lovely comments about the UEI class (which is now called a Cluster Unit) Anyway...

Oh, here it is. The graduation cap...
Everyone looking at me...
Her sweet teacher assistant is trying to help her through the fear.

She got her stuff from her teacher then completely fell apart so here she is in all her glory...

I gave her something to chew on so that seemed to help her get centered and forget the over stimulation. (I love gum. Gum is a great thing to have around at all times when you have FX kids!) This time she got to have taffy because it was in the treat bag that Grandma Judy gave her. Thanks grandma!
 keeping her mouth stuffed

So, now she'll pose for a pic with mommy.
OK, so one of us is happier than the other...

I am so proud of Sister and all she has worked up to this year. She has become such a talker and has a hilarious sense of humor. Her teacher was her preschool teacher for two years. Amazing woman. She was so willing to communicate with me and learn about Fragile X Syndrome and Sister.

This was Sister's last day of pre-school. She is a big kindergartner next year! Wow! She will be going to a Cluster Unit that will be all day. She will have a brand new just out of school teacher. It is a new unit they are starting. It is basically what Brother has been in for the last 4 years. Which segways us to our next graduate...

Brother graduates from fourth grade!
I gave my camera to one of his teachers. Then I snuck in to the back row so that he would see me coming in. Why do I do all this? For the reason you saw up above with Sister. I didn't want to have him fall apart as he has done in past years. He doesn't cry and scream when he gets hyper-aroused. He sticks his tongue out at me the whole program everytime he sees me, yells at me when I try to take a picture and gets scared to sing the songs with the other kids. So, I thought I had it all set...

At least I didn't get the attitude. He was still so nervous.

Being Brighton: dancing and singing

Here is getting his certificate from his teacher.

She has been his teacher since first grade.

She has been amazing. All that he does I owe to her and her technicians. He just adores his teacher. He will still see her a lot because when he moves onto fifth grade he will be in the same school and his new teacher and old teacher's classrooms are next to eachother. They also combine all the kids in the Cluster Units from First Grade to Sixth Grade for field trips and activities.

Next graduation: 18
Here is the row we were sitting on and the family in it.

Half the graduating class. 18 is on the right with the choir

OK, so I am so NOT talented at self-portraiture. I have always made fun of the people on facebook that have a self-taken picture for the profile pic. You know the arm outstretched so you can see the shoulder and the head tilt. Well, apparently there is a reason they post these... they are proud of themselves.. they did it. 

I can't.

That is one of 18's best friends and one of my best friend's daughters. I'll call her "Yelnam." She is actually the one in the above shot with the sexy glasses. I was trying to prove that we were sitting together at the graduation... I tried again...

and again... they were all crap...

but, this one pretty much was OK...
Check out the guy behind us. He is as digusted with my attempt at self-portraiture as I am. Love ya Yelnam!

After the graduation I was herded shoulder to shoulder out the doors and found 18 right off. Pictures!!!!!

Yelnam and 18

 18 and my sister, Kirsten

18 with my cousin, Tyler, and Kirsten (all three are good friends)

18 and 13

Grandpa Gary and 18

18 and Grandma Lynne

Me and Yelnam

Marc and 18 with Baby (and not-thinking-I-am-in-the-background-of-a-picture-that-will-forever-be-etched-into-cyber-history Yelnam)

Now for the next picture. Let me give it a little soulful explanation.

Fifth Grade to  Senior year is a long time and a lot of hard work.
Not only on behalf of the student but the parents that encourage and mentor them through it.

Many hours helping with homework.
Hours on the phone with teachers.
Hours on the internet checking grades and assignments.
Tears shed on both parts with frustration because of not understanding an assignment, not turning in said assignment or not doing it at all.
Years of encouragement.
Years of helping them understand how important school is.
Years of paying fees.
Helping the student see what their talents are and helping her choose the classes to pursue those talents.
Pushing her to finish a class or schoolwork even when they didn't want to.

It all comes down to this moment...

And for others it is this moment...

It was a tough day for me. I won't lie. I also won't go into all the reasons why.
I will show you this picture of Baby.
I felt the way she looks.

Which leads me to the fourth graduation.
Ya, the title of this post is "Graduation to the 4th Power."

It takes a certain power to get you through many things in life.

And it takes a certain power to help you let go of many things in life.

The fourth graduation was my own.

Graduation from being 18 and 13's mom.

It hit me that day.

3 remarks:

Yo said...

tough times for sure. At least they are doing well, which is more than I can say for my niece and nephew!! No one can take away from you what you have done for those kids - I think you are amazing:)

Suzy said...

Rachael, I love you!

Kirsten Amelia said...

First of all, Yelnam is awesome. Second of all pretty sure I shed tears. And third of all I think you're great. The end.