Originally my plan today was to write about my birding adventure Saturday afternoon with the boy and his bestie Alexa, but I have been derailed. You see this morning, the boy sat sullen on my dormer steps and worried that he shouldn’t attend school today. Considering that today’s schedule involved taking three final exams, I couldn’t see a reason why he should stay home–even though, if this were any other day of the school year, I probably would have allowed the absence.
You see, yesterday following school and after complaining of a very sore throat for two days straight, I urged my husband to take the boy to an Urgent Care to see if he might have something worse than our belief of seasonal allergies in overdrive. When they arrived home, I asked, “Well?” “They took a rapid Strep test which came out negative, but, because his throat was red, they put him on antibiotics, just in case,” He explained. “At the very least, he’ll begin feeling better…” I offered and then made him some scrambled eggs to take with the medication.
“How do you feel this morning?” I asked as he sat there in a quandary. “So much better… but if I have Strep, I don’t want to get anyone else sick…” He said before adding, “I was so looking forward to the Senior walk too…” “What’s the Senior walk entail?” I asked. “After exams, my class meets in the cafeteria, where we throw away all of papers and turn in the books. Then we triumphantly exit the school, while the underclassman clap and cheer us on,” He explained. “You could still participate in this…” I offered. “Mom, you know me…” He lamented and immediately I understood. The boy who loves to give hugs would be handcuffed, in fear of getting anyone else sick and this thought alone, hurt his heart. “Bay offer high fives instead or tell them, the truth…so they hug at their own risk,” I offered. He nodded and prepared for school.
A few minutes later, both kids loaded in the car, we made our drive to school–for my son’s last real day of high school.
A few hours later, I received a call from the school–the boy–telling me he’s been released from school and needed a ride home. Finishing things up with Mrs. K, I departed to pick the boy up, not thinking of anything other than the task at hand. When I entered the school, I asked the door greeter, where I might find my son. “Who is your son?” She asked, confused by my presence. “Dylan…” “That’s your boy? I love him. Absolutely love him!!” She replied before instructing me toward the main office. I smiled, thanked her, then turned the corner for the office.
Upon entering the office, I found one of the boy’s teachers from last year and asked the staff at large, “Anybody see my boy?” His teacher, Mrs. McKinely offered, “Yes, just a minute ago, down the hall…” I thanked her then turned to leave but was stopped when she added, “I’m really going to miss him. Dylan is a breath of fresh air… a really cool kid who came into his own. The school won’t be the same without him”. I smiled and thanked her, and then turned to leave the room. A moment later, I found my son and we walked out of the school together toward the car.
As we walked I mentioned what the door greeter had said, and how Mrs. McKinely had offered kind words as well–except, I couldn’t really tell him that because I began choking up with pride and tears. “Are you okay?” He asked wondering why I couldn’t talk. I laughed, “This is dumb,” I said, trying again, but failing miserably. “What’s dumb…?” He asked again, and I laughed again. “This is. I’m walking out of school with my baby, a soon to be high school graduate and I’m crying… the nice words and everything are so overwhelming for a mom who has worried about you these last four years,” I said and then laughed and then cried again. “Mom, it’s okay…” He said in a comforting manner and then said, “I’d give you a hug…” to which I replied, “I’ll take one later after your third antibiotic,” and we both laughed as I began to drive away…
All the while, still trying desperately not to cry thinking about how far my little bay has come…