Raizel was very excited! In honor of her graduation, I bought a new hair iron for her and straightened her hair. Oh my – was she so happy! A curly girl, Raizel loves to have her hair straightened.
My husband, however, was ambivalent about the graduation ceremony. But, not for the reasons that one might expect. It was not the wistfulness of watching one’s children grow up nor the nostalgia over the end of childhood.
For us, the graduation ceremony was bittersweet. It was the reminder that as parents of special needs children, our path through life is different than other parents. Our children grow older, but they do not grow up the same way that other children do.
When Raizel was in yeshiva, there were many social festivities and events to celebrate this rite of passage. Raizel enjoyed every one of them! My husband never complained about the expense, or distraction from academics that they entailed.
But, now in public school, Raizel could not graduate with her classmates of the past 4 years.
Some of this was due to the decisions we made. In theory, we could have let her finish out the year, as the school suggested.
But, we did not. Her needs were not being met, and the lack of attention was affecting other areas of her life.
I am grateful that she was happy about graduation with her new classmates. It’s a sign of resilience. As her mother, I want Raizel to adjust to change with grace and equanimity.
And, although the circumstances changed, Raizel was still able to experience a graduation ceremony. It was different, and not what we planned, but equally good.
My blessings for you dear Raizel and Yaffa is that you will be able to savor and appreciate all the gifts that you have been given. Always believe in yourself. May you always have hope for the future.
We love you!
Congratulations Raizel and Yaffa!🎉