Graduation came and went. Nearly a week ago. And, I am still processing it all. The day. This milestone. Very slowly processing. Yet, perhaps not yet willing to take the time to full process it all. I've been working on my book this week. By the time this blog post publishes, I'll be on the way back to Louisville for a weekend of art museums and play.
I confess. I hid behind a camera during the ceremony. There were 22 of us there in the Grace Goad Fan Club. Sorry, folks, but only two of you can snap pictures without cutting off body parts, including heads. One of you would have bitched about the camera the whole time and the other one of you doesn't like me. So, I held that big digital device up in front of my face and let er rip on sports mode. ClickClickClickClick. It wasn't until Grace exited the stage that I realized what I'd done.
Missed. The whole thing.
And. I know better.
Once, at a conference many years ago--I can remember the dress I was wearing and my age, 26--an older, wiser woman came up to me and said: "Your reporter pad gives you a chance to hide." Cameras do that, too. I recall reading how someone went whale watching and decided not to try to capture it because in so doing, they'd miss the glory of the actual moment of being in the presence of that incredible creature. I tried to remember that the few times I have been fortunate enough to watch whales.
More on this Grace's graduation and how it's shaking down will come. The continuance will share what I did experience behind the lens. (This post--The Little Drummer that Graduated--shows what I and our family, at least, saw.) And eventually, I'll process the feelings over this momentous occasion. Probably part of the reason I've not yet unpacked them is because they are bittersweet. In ways that only other families of children with autism and other disAbilities can relate.
It will come.
The above photo: one of two in which the photographer was documented being at the actual event.