Ben you graduated!
It was a short ceremony, all of you seated on chairs to the left and right of the stage. The principal gave a little speech, and then he started calling your names. You'd get up and walk on the stage, collect your certificate from your teacher with a smile and a handshake, then continue your walk across and down the other side. Such a short walk that meant so much to me, such a short walk that I thought might never happen when the psychiatrist told us eleven years ago that you were autistic. Such a long journey to get to that short walk. You did so much work to get to that moment, and you didn't even realise that that was the reason your parents were smiing so broadly. Your classmates had no idea how many hours of therapy you sat through, how many extra hours of homework you endured, how many times you couldn't go to the park or play because you had to write out your essay again, or do extra math problems, or look up all the French words you didn't know in a dictionary. Some of them see your kind heart, playful being, and amazing from-the-gut smile, some of them only see you as the kid who cries inappropriately and who used to eat paint off the walls. I know how far you have come, and what a miraculous gift that I was given the day that you were born. You came into this world as softly and gracefully as you continue to walk in it. I am truly blessed by your kindness everyday.I have never encountered a more beautiful soul than yours.
And now you are starting a new stage of your life, and we all will have a lot to learn as you start again at the bottom of the ladder and climb towards your goals and adulthood. My only wish is that the experience be as rich and delightful as the past seven years, and as blissfully memorable.
I could not be prouder of you Benny, thank you for teaching me so much.
All my love,
Ben you graduated!