My kid didn't graduate with his class in May, and I’m okay with that. After all, in order for me to proud he has to be alive. For a while I thought he was going down a road where that was looking less likely. I’ve had too many friends whose children have died too young (one would be too many, but it’s sadly more than that). In 2013, we had two Solders die from suicide in our battalion, and a few more on post.
The pandemic hit my sensitive kid hard. It didn’t make sense to him, and there was nothing I could tell him; it didn’t make sense to me, either. He was sad and angry at the world because the grown-ups kept doing mean, stupid shit that guaranteed more people would die. Smart people’s expert advice went unheeded, and government put money and property over lives, again and again. He saw people who didn’t look like him get beaten down and murdered and didn’t understand why those lives mattered less than his.
We’ve tried to raise a compassionate kid who uses his many privileges to better the lives around him. His brain just couldn’t handle the higher order thinking of his math class this past year. And since he’s my son, he didn’t reach out for help until he’d already dug a deep hole. So we said, “Fuck it.” In ten years, it probably won’t matter much or at all that he graduated in June, or July, or December, or that he got a GED instead. But it will mean everything that he’s still here in ten years, so I can hug him and tell him I love him.
He’s getting the help he needs, and the rest he needs. He’ll get that last half credit of math one way or another. And then he’ll be here so we can all find out what this amazing kid will do next.
I’m good. Celebrate your kids’ successes. I will celebrate his when the time comes, and I’ll be doubly grateful that he’s good, too.