And so my oldest son has graduate, but not. While the ceremony was held this past weekend, he still has a couple of courses to finish up before he is handed that diploma. This means he is unable to return home from his reform school.
Still, despite these last couple of weeks left of work he has to conduct, Kyle graduated Valedictorian. A couple of months ago, when we were talking to him, he mentioned that he was on track to become Saluditorian (second highest grade point average for the 4 years of high school) to which we replied “Out of a class of two?” As the final tallies were being calculated, it turns out he would be number one, and have the highest cumulative GPA for his graduating class. Then we stopped teasing him and began truly celebrating his accomplishment.
At his reform school, there was a graduating class of about 35 or so. While it may not be large, being number one for all of high school is a major deal. We are proud of him.
After the graduation ceremony I was able to take him off campus with his Uncle John (my wife’s sister’s husband) and the three of us puttered around, caught a film, purchased a computer for Kyle’s college life, and a few other things. Unfortunately, it was just us. My wife and other children were unable to attend the event because financially, it was prohibitive. Have you tried purchasing 5 plane tickets? Plus the check baggage fees, and the hotel expenses for that many. And food. Ouch.
I am writing (typing) this on the flight home, but as you read this, the events will have been a couple of days behind me. I haven’t had much time to reflect, and I’m not sure how much can be done, as I was separated from him for the last three and a half years and wasn’t able to participate in his teen years the same way most parents get to. I mention this not for pity, but more for context. It had become not a matter of what we wanted for our son, but what can we do to give him future success, and that meant handing him over to an institution that was able to handle this particular behaviors. Since his reform school is halfway across the country, participation just couldn’t take place.
Still, now his has graduated high school, has been accepted to 8 different universities, and has a future ahead of him. I’m proud of my graduate.