Yesterday Earl and I went to Bryan’s school for an honor roll ceremony. Bryan got all Bs and B+s for his first marking period of middle school. One A in PE!!! All the parents were seated in the auditorium and the kids filed in with their classes. I could see Bryan looking for us in the crowd and when he spotted us he flashed that warm, delicious smile. Bryan has very smiley eyes!!! He made his way to his seat with his classmates and spent the next few minutes just looking for us and at us. He and I kept looking over at each other and we would catch eyes, smile, and give each other a thumbs up. Earl and I were just….over the moon. They called the names in alphabetical order. At one point they called a boy named Bryan Davis and he stood up (Bryan’s middle name is Davis) and his teacher told him to sit down. He was listening for his name!! You see, this boy has gotten awards before, so he knows how they work!!! When they called Bryan Kaufman he got up and got in line to get his award behind another boy. The Asst. Principal asked him his name and I could see from my seat he said his name. He took his award and stood for photos with the other students. Never missed a beat. Do you have any idea how this made us feel? Do you have any idea how this made him feel? I must spend time acknowledging this great moment. Here is why:
1. He behaved just like any other student.
2. He knows how much we love him and knew we were so proud of him.
3. He did not carry on when we went to say goodbye to him. We stole a few quick kisses and ducked out of the auditorium to go to work. I cannot even tell you how many times we went to events when he was younger and if he saw us the rest of his day was a misery. Now he knows how to act and control himself.
4. He achieved good grades. He may not be on grade level, he may not take FCATS (dopey standardized Florida tests) but he still can achieve.
I picked him up from speech therapy at 6pm. Jason was already home with Earl so we were alone. We went to an Italian Restaurant together and ordered pizza and sodas.
We sat down at this very cozy table for two; he outstretched his arm on the table for me to hold his hand. I did and we held hands for most of the time until the food came. At that moment there was no one else in the world but the two of us. We talked a little here and there but with Bryan it’s better not to push too hard on the conversation. He needs to process questions slowly so he will be more forthright with info if he doesn’t feel pressured to respond. The food came and, in typical fashion, he ate like he was getting shipped out. He talked me into giving him a 3rd slice of pizza which I don’t usually allow. When he was done he said, “I feel better”. I thought was hilarious since he looked so stuffed! The lady next to us was there with her son and her mother and from time to time caught eyes with me. I could tell from her smiles she understood a lot and I felt really proud to be with this ever evolving, ever emerging, young man. We drove home and he was truly happy. He said “I love you Mommy” a few times. Sometimes he says this and it’s just chatter; he doesn’t even know he’s saying it. Sometimes he says it when he is worried or if I’m angry with him and it’s more of a question. This time it had its true meaning. I love having each of the boys alone from time to time. We get to connect and deepen our bond. I remember the times when I was a kid and had alone time with each of my parents; they are great memories to have and hopefully will be that way for the boys too.