Last week Gwen graduated from 6th grade and her mama almost melted down. Not sure why, but the anticipation of this event had me freaked out for the entire last week of school.
Gwen is not capable of doing 6th grade work, but graduated because she is 12 and it’s time for middle school. There is a large special needs population at this school and any one of them who ages out can participate in the ceremony. Throughout the year, the special needs kids spend time in regular classrooms, so they are graduating with their peers.
The week leading up to the ceremony saw me a complete wreck, and for no reason! We are registered at a great school for next year. We already know that Gwen’s teacher will be a wonderful lady who has had her for the last 5 years in summer school. It’s all good, but the prospect of change made me come unhinged. I’m a lot better at this than I used to be. The first time Gwen moved – from a baby class to the 2-year-old class next door on the bottom floor of a world class children’s hospital – I cried and panicked for days.
We were able to use this year’s fancy dress for the third time. She wore it first in a wedding, then to the prom and finally for graduation. I left off the crocheted gloves and the necklace because I didn’t think graduation called for bling. I was wrong- many of the girls looked like they were going to Cinderella’s ball. There were updo’s, high heels, rhinestones and floor length dresses. One dude was looking really sharp in a fedora.
Once again we had the opportunity to participate in a rite of passage that seemed out of our reach. Yes, I cried this time too. Not out of panic, but out of gratitude for what our precious girl has been able to achieve.