Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday after work I had the pleasure of going to see Jason's preschool graduation. This was actually Jason's second, but much more challenging of the two. The prior day he went through his special ed class graduation - a very small affair as there are only 6 kids in the class. But Jason splits time between that class and the "typical" or "mainstream" class, and Friday was that class' ceremony. Many more kids. And a group of parents generally unaware of special needs students' particular brand of ... unpredictability.
It was a rousing success! They opened the ceremony by filing all the kids single file into the auditorium. Jason was 2 kids from last in line. They then performed the Pledge of Allegiance. Jason spoke along with all the kids - he definitely has this one down pat. The only notable thing was that Jason was the only person in the auditorium not oriented toward the flag in the corner behind him. No big deal.
Then it was singing time. They started with a song about a turtle named Tiny Tim. Jason mouthed along with the crowd (he is not much of a singer by choice) and tried to look interested. That song came to an end and then they segued into a much longer one about rainbows and such. That song required lots of hand and arm movement (making arches and such) and, again, Jason acquitted himself beautifuly. I must mention here that one little girl was .. just .. belting .. out .. the song. It was classic. Huge smile, dramatic movements - she was a little Shirley Temple. Defeinitely a future American Idol contestant - and winner.
Last was the presentation of the certificates of graduation. This was where Jason stood out most noticeably - to us and us alone. One teacher read the names and the other handed out the paper certificates. As each one was given to a child, the child would invariably hold it out for all to see, seek his/her parents in the crowd, and beam at them. Not our boy! He got his diploma, and promptly began reading it. Never mind that he is probably the only kid in the class who is capable of reading it, and could have done it 8 or 10 months ago as easily as now. So, instead of our kid beaming, Lisa and Grandma and I were. It was great. Jason is in the light blue shirt. Jason's little brother Colin had a great time, too, as evidenced by his smile.
Oh, and the teachers shared with us after the ceremony that the only reason they did two songs, and not the traditional one song, was that Jason throughout the year just loved the Tiny Tim song. They did it just for him, in order to make him comfortable. What a difference a caring set of educators makes! Everyone should be so lucky.