June 06, 2011

Another Visit to the Mom Hall of Shame

On Friday, The Boy's school had an awards and graduation ceremony.

I did not attend - there's no way I could chance driving my four-wheeled potential death machine (aka car) seventy miles roundtrip, without the risk of spending my day on the shoulder of the interstate.

The Boy assured me that I didn't have to come, he wasn't getting any awards.

He was wrong.

And I was the only parent who didn't show up (or so he says). But since the school only has twenty-two (male) students, all of them in the autism spectrum, I think it's safe to assume that my fellow parents showed up to cheer on their child and his classmates.

Bad mom.

The Boy received the following awards:

The Dramatic Reader Award, "for excellence in play narration". Finally, his drama queen abilities have been used in a positive way.

The Rip Van Winkle Award, "for always starting the day with a nap to give him energy for the day". Apparently, when The Boy gets off the school bus, he finds his favorite comfy chair in the lounge area of the school, and he catches a nap before his first class starts.

He said he was "both proud and ashamed" to receive the award.

Finally, he was presented with The Jim Henson Award, "in recognition of his concerted effort to taking a creative approach to academic pursuits". This, by far, was his biggest honor. Jim Henson is his hero...he said he got teary when he received his certificate.

While these awards would not pass muster at a traditional school, the staff at The Boy's school has gone above and beyond to encourage each and every student to excel. And the fact that they use snarky awards only gives them more points in my scorebook.

The day also included speeches, and a graduation ceremony for the first graduate of the program. The new alum said that he considered everyone at the school as "family".

And in this family, I am the bad mom who didn't show up.

The entire class received invitations to his graduation party - thankfully, it's on Saturday, when I have access to The Mister's van.

The Boy's summer vacation begins today, when he returns from an early dismissal from school. His second half of his freshman year has been a good one (perhaps the best yet); he is sad that school is ending, which proves that The Boy has more than a few screws loose.

What kid doesn't like vacation? 

Oh yeah, mine.

Vacation means isolation (no friends here), and days filled with the internet and frequent raids on all of the comestibles in the house. 

He's already started the summer 'attitude' - yesterday, when I asked him to do something, he told me that "he is his own person, and doesn't have to do what I ask".

Needless to say, that did not work out well for him.

Lucky for him, he only has to wait two weeks before his school's Summer Session starts. He also has a week of sleepaway camp to look forward to.

For those five days, I leave my post as food protection sentry, and have no parental responsibilities, other than the constant anxiety that the camp will call to say that he's done something illegal/horrible/immoral/injurious.

Hopefully, he'll be able to use the positive things he learned at school this semester to have a fun and drama-free week at camp. 


  1. Don't fret little chick-a-dee. I have in my life been a bad mom too. oh wait, I'm still that once in a while.

    What in the hell are you going to be doing with all that free time for a week. that is going to be heaven

  2. Im so glad that he got some awards..that is just awesome!

  3. Oh, I have no advice, but I do sympathize. I can remember yelling at those who tried to help me make deviled eggs; forgetting my daughter's 20th birthday because Las Vegas made me lose track of days; and not driving the 2 hour each way trip to my grandson's birthday party because it was winter and my new husband wouldn't let me.

    It will all be okay eventually. I'm glad that your boy got so many awards; it sounds like his school is great place to be.

    Your story reminded me of when my stepson was 10 and told me, "I don't have to mind you, you are not my Mom!" I said, yeah, well, it's my house. That might not work so well for you since your boy lives there the whole time though.

    Have a great day, I'll be thinking of you.

    Kathy M.

  4. This new school sounds like a fabulous fit for him ... I'm so glad he finally found a place that he fits into and is thriving. And no Bad Mom award for you ...you are the most devoted, dedicated, patient loving mom I've ever head of!

  5. Awesome school, indeed! I'm so glad you found it and that The Boy received cool awards. Don't feel bad about the graduation thing...you had a good excuse...your potential death machine! :)

  6. With all that you are doing/have done for your "boy" there should be no shame. You're amazing in my book. Congrats to the boy and you, because without you, I doubt it would've happened.


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