About six months ago someone at school asked me if I wanted Pearlsky to participate in graduation. She is turning 22 in October so school ends for her then. Technically I guess this would be her graduation. Note that she cannot “graduate” since she did not pass the No Child Left Behind mandatory state test, she will not get a diploma, it is all a farce. I said we would attend, she would not participate.
Nothing for six months.
Last Wednesday, four days ago, I got an email from the director of special education, “Just to be sure, Pearlsky will not be participating in graduation, correct?” I responded with “Correct. When and where is it since we will be there.”
Ummmm … in four days. Do you want tickets? Special seating?
And I wasn’t told … why?
It is a very warm and sticky day; we walk there. The graduation is on the field. We arrive as the other graduates are walking onto the field. She is supposed to be among them. Walking. Laughing with friends.
Pushing her chair is not so easy on the field, but we move around a bit.
She is supposed to be wearing a cap and gown. Walking with her peers. Talking, laughing.
Instead, we are hanging out in the back, walking along the side, well, I am walking, make that pushing, she is riding, bumping along.
There is one guy in the special education administration that I am, well, not too fond of. He has messed up too many times, and I would not allow him to deal with an IEP for my hamster, if I had one, let alone Pearlsky.
He walked over to us at graduation, and asked if it was ok to give Pearlsky a tassel. No one else bothered to say anything, offer anything, nor interact. But he did. And you know what? He did something right.
At some point one of the speakers said “Will all of the graduates of 2014 please rise.”
It hits you out of nowhere. You think all will be ok, at this point you can handle anything. Bullshit. Like an unexpected left hook, life just crashes.
I’ll trade you one crippled retard for a dope smoking pregnant teen. How about for a drop out on probation? A middle of the road B student going to a good state school? Yeah, I’ll trade you. How about for a kid that can stand?
And no, it’s not about losing or leaving Pearlsky or David nor not wanting them nor not loving what I have, what they are, and if you think that is what it is about, well fuck you too.
I will die never having seen my child get a diploma. Lots of people die in that situation. It was not my plan. Not my hope. Not my dream. I will never walk my daughter down the isle. Never be proud of her accomplishment. I use the singular for a reason, seeing that so far there is not even one.
Want to talk about graduations? Here is an interesting link, but first a definition:
gulag: “… a system of labor camps maintained in the former Soviet Union from 1930 to 1955 in which many people died.” Got that? Many people died. Forced labor camps. Consisted of many more camps with many more prisoners over many more years than the Nazi concentration camp system did.
Personally, to see my child walk in a graduation, laugh with friends, they can put me in a cage hanging from the ceiling. But that’s me. What do I know? Here is that link.