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Close But No Cigar

Last Tuesday was graduation night for our local high school, and should have been graduation night for our youngest sprog. Unfortunately, he didn’t get all his credits completed in time and was forbidden from participating in the ceremony due to district policy. In fact, all the e-mails I received from the high school were headed “Sprog’s Name, Non-grad, non-walk”. Nice bit of empathy and understanding, huh? Thirteen years in the school district, including six years where my darling husband and I begged for our youngest to be held back a grade to help him mature. To which school administrators responded with, “We have a strict no-retention policy. No exceptions. Sorry.”


So this lovely, talented, whip-smart boy has some learning and/or motivation problems. So he gets 90% on most tests but doesn’t do homework or projects (which leads to failing grades). So he goes to all his classes over four years of high school, no skipping or skiving off. And what we get from counselors, vice-principals and teachers is, “Non-grad, non-walk.” After I stopped swearing at the school, I was very sad. Darling husband was both sad and disappointed that we had been unable to help our boy overcome his issues (darling husband’s a teacher, you know. He can’t help wanting to help).

Then the sprog did something that astounded me, astounded us. He asked to attend graduation as a spectator to support his friends and his long-time girlfriend. He sat in the audience while his classmates from those thirteen years celebrated and cheered for themselves, and he cheered right along with them.

Wow. What a kid.

His next steps? Completing his credits. Getting his diploma this summer. Attending the ginormous graduation party I plan on throwing when we have that damn diploma in our hands, wearing his cap and gown proudly. Choosing classes he wants to attend at a community college in the fall.

And me? The sad mama? I’m not sad anymore. I think he’ll be just fine, and I intend to continue being proud of him, even if his path through life is the less conventional one.


6 Responses

  1. Julie, that right there says more about him than a diploma ever would. Keep being proud. That boy’s going to be all right. Better than all right. He’s going to blow us all away.

  2. Jules, he’ll be fine. I worried about Peter – he left school with an “E” in I.T. at A level (he failed the other two in Economics & Physics!) and I was upset for a while – probably because I knew he was very bright and just lazy. I have a lot to be thankful for, he is an amazing son (although of course I wouldn’t tell him this) and I’m sure all of yours are too. Anyway – look at Richard Branson, the lack of qualifications didn’t do him any harm did it? xxxx

    • I think he’ll be fine, too, Kaz! High school was not his peak time, and truthfully, isn’t it better that he peak later on? (BTW, Peter IS an amazing son – with parents like you two, how could he not? :-))

  3. You know I love that boy! I agree with Linda — his actions speak louder than a diploma. I wanna come to the party. I’ll help cook.

    • You’re on. I’ll let you know as soon as we get a thumbs-up from the high school so you can plan your flight. 🙂

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