Friday, April 27, 2012

Milestones

We are not planning on attending/participating in our daughter's 8th grade graduation next month. Crowds, noise and waiting -- three things Diana does not care for. On the one hand, it's an opportunity to participate in an event with her peers. On the other, it's a situation that could spell several days of overloaded kid. It's a milestone that should be celebrated, but by abstaining, we're respecting her limitations. If we go, it's for us; if we don't, it's for her. Who's more important?

In the grand scheme of things, missing it isn't much of a big, right? In our old (smaller) school district, there was kindergarten graduation and graduation from grade to middle school. They were smallish ceremonies that she seemed pretty oblivious to, honestly, other than to want to leave sooner than later. So why make her uncomfortable for something that we don't have to attend?

I got email from her teacher this afternoon, asking if we were planning on letting her participate. My husband and I had talked about it when she came home from school with graduation information in her backpack last week, so I was able reply immediately. And wondered as I did if she'd think we were doing something wrong by not giving our daughter a chance to grow with her classmates. I suppose all parents second-guess their decisions, but sometimes it seems like that's all I do...

Uncertainty and doubt abound when you have a child who can't necessarily communicate clearly. That can be a sharp jab in the chest sometimes. Hallmark managed to dig the knife pretty deep last night, in this commercial. If you don't want to go watch (it's pretty short), here's a transcript:
[various moms speaking]
Tell me that I've been a good mom.
That I actually taught you something.
Tell me I'm ready. [listening to a sonogram]
That you look up to me.
Tell me you like spending time with me.
That I'm doing this right. [with an infant]
Even if I'm doing it alone.
Tell me you're proud of who we are.
Just tell me.
[voiceover] For everything moms need to hear, there's a Hallmark card.
I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have gotten a spontaneous I love you from my daughter. There's nothing on that list of things "moms need to hear" that I am ever likely to hear from her. She's happy and healthy and that counts for a helluva lot, in my book. Every unasked for gesture of affection, every silly smile, every thing done without being asked -- these are the milestones that are truly important. Those are the moments truly worth cherishing. But oh god, that doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice to hear the words anyway...

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