Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Climbing the K2
Today my son BBB is graduating high school.
It's taken almost 21 years to get here, and I didn't think we'd ever arrive. Certainly not in one piece.
Seventeen-ish years ago, we'd sat down with our town's preschool special education director. She explained to us, two parents stuck in this brand new messed up world, what lay in front of us-the IEPs, behavior plans, case managers, and inclusion- and how it would all lead, one day, to one goal: graduation.
It was a bit like plopping two barefoot, supply-less, and naked hiking amateurs at the base of the K2 and saying I'll see you on the other side.
Never gonna happen, was our immediate thought.
@%$#*!, was our second thought. And third.
Little did we know there were people-teachers and administrators and doctors and counselors-stationed along the way, waiting for us. Little did we know they'd drag us, pull us, push us, and even roll us toward that summit and back down the mountain. Little did we know they'd give us the tools we needed to get us through it.
But they did, they got us through it. We climbed the K2.
Of course, this finish line merely marks our approach to a new mountain. This one, transitioning to the adult world and independence, is Mount Everest, the highest in the world. And I'm not convinced the trails will be dotted with helping hands this time around. Or, at least, not so many. That's just the harsh reality of funding and community services for those with disabilities.
It is what it is, I suppose. And what it is is a celebration, today. It's an ending, and a new beginnning, and a time to give thanks and gratitude and eat donuts.
We made it. My son made it.
Life is very good today.