I didn’t curl up in a ball on the field during senior night. In fact, I didn’t shed a tear. Maybe I was too distracted by the constant picture taking coupled with lining up to proceed on the field. Maybe the fact that I was kinda of “in charge” of Bailey’s dance team had me a little stressed. Quite possibly, I am just saving my emotional breakdown for graduation. Or, here is a wildcard, maybe I am in a state of acceptance. I mean, isn’t this why we have children? Isn’t the goal to raise them to the best of our ability and hope they succeed? That’s what I am aiming for anyway.
While there were several high points of the evening, I think the most pivotal one happened when Bailey’s team danced. It wasn’t the dancing. It wasn’t the music. It was the feeling. The overwhelming excitement the crowd had for these special young people. I turned around and was simply blown away. People screaming Bailey’s name. They were dancing and clapping. The crowd was engaged and I, as usual, am surprised. Why? Maybe it is because when he was young, I didn’t think anyone would accept him. I fought until I was exhausted to open doors that were seemingly locked. I am the mother that teachers hid from. I finally believe that individuals with Down syndrome are making strides. They are opening doors on their own merit. While we have a long road ahead, the journey isn’t so bumpy.
And while the euphoria was bubbling within, I couldn’t help but notice Bryce’s absence. I wrote earlier in the week about his unhappiness regarding “his night” being overshadowed by his brother dancing. Sure, I was sad and disappointed that he missed it, but he has choices. He has to work through that in his own way. I never want him to feel obligated. Time will reveal more about this relationship and they will figure it out without my participation.