Bittersweet Endings and New Beginnings

It seems fitting to be writing of endings and beginnings on this Summer Solstice day. Another school year has come to a close. This year is perhaps a little sad for me as it marks the end of my 17 years association with my kids’ local primary school. My eldest son started there in 1992 and I’ve had kids there continuously ever since with my youngest of 4 sons finishing this year. You would think that 17 years with the one school might be some sort of record, but its not. Another mum there still has 2 years to go, making a total of 24 years! …well, she does have 8 kids! ūüėģ

b6Each year the grade 6 students give an end of year performance¬† which all the parents, grandparents and friends are invited to attend. This year’s play was “The Jungle Book” and ‘B’ played the part of a wolf. Although not a major part he did have a few lines to speak, which he did very well. He also had to fill in for another wolf who didn’t turn up on the night and had to say his lines as well.¬† In typical aspie style he had also memorised virtually the entire play and knew the lead part as well, for which he was asked to fill in on a couple of occasions during rehearsals. Throughout the rehearsals and the main performance¬† he stayed in character better than the other wolves. This is something¬† the teachers noticed and praised him for. I took some photos on the big night but¬† unfortunately they’re not very good quality. ‘B’ is in the back row of wolves, top right of the photo.

The tradition for end of year 6 is to have a shaving cream “fight” at a local park, after the conclusion of the final school day.¬† Another school was there as well so for a while the two groups mingled. They had a blast!¬† Of course it was the mums who ended up picking up most of the discarded cans, streamers and globs of “silly string”, but I figured I needed the exercise anyway, LOL.

b3

‘B’ is in a blue shirt, with long grey trousers.

b4

b5I wiped his face clean after this and he went back for more, LOL!

However, endings also bring with them new beginnings as my baby boy starts high school next year; something I’m probably more concerned about than he is, given his Asperger’s Syndrome and ADD. I’ve been to meetings with the high school and he’s been to special integration/orientation days at the school for kids with special needs, but even with all that in place I know he’s going to face some problems, just like his older 2 brothers who are at the same school (eldest went to a different school – much better school but difficult to qualify for as its an academically selective school). Just have to deal with those problems as they happen.¬† Its not like its anything new to me …”bin there dun that” with the 3 older boys (one dx aspie, two not dx but definitely aspie). Junior high school can really suck sometimes, but at least even the most obnoxious of the NT kids gain some semblance of humanity once they get into the senior years (well, usually – there are some exceptions who did cause some serious problems for one of my sons).¬† I’ve never really understood why some people feel they have the right to treat others like shit just because they’re different in some way.

a1My eldest son ‘A’ has also reached the end of one stage of his life and is eagerly looking forward to the next. He’s just graduated university and now has a Bachelor of Computer Science.¬† He’s already been offered a job at the uni, doing something he loves ...building robots. In fact the robot shown in the linked article, and the programming involved (‘A’ was “Lead Programmer”) won his team first prize for best project at the Uni of Wollongong Trade Show & Research Showcase.¬† The students paid for the robot parts themselves so at the end of the project¬† ‘A’ bought his team mates’ share of the robot and now¬† EMO II inhabits A’s bedroom.

I know ‘A’ won’t want his face on my blog, so this pic of him (left) and his friend (victim of the duck)¬† will have to do. They both wanted a photo with the infamous Evil Duck, the scourge of the uni gardens. Evil Duck (also known by many other names) is very territorial and spends most of his time trying to rid his home ground of¬† what he sees as trespassers. This of course provides a lot of entertainment for the masses as unsuspecting students sitting quietly on the lawn are stealthily approached from the rear by the Evil Duck and attacked.

Son no.2, ‘J’, has just finished the first part of his HSC – he’s doing year 12 over 2 years on the “Pathways” program. He still has 2 more subjects to finish next year. This year his Design & Technology project (a mobile, self powered trolley bench which can be raised and lowered, specifically designed and built to enable my dad to work more easily on and transport his model steam locomotive which weighs about 750kg) was nominated for inclusion in the Power House Museum’s¬† DesignTECH 2008. The school described it as “a dominating and challenging work which made an impression on many who saw it at our HSC Expo Evening”. Must also add here that ‘J’ received the “TK Gardiner Encouragement Award” for “Outstanding Achievement in Creative Arts”. Yay!

Son no.3, ‘T’, has also had an ending of sorts, and a new beginning – he’s just finished junior high school and his School Certificate (in which he received the top mark in his school for Computer Skills) and also received 1st place in¬† Information Software and Technology. Next year ‘T’ becomes a senior student,¬† and begins his HSC course, so that’s another big step forward in his life.

Ok, that’ll do for the proud mummy bragging stuff, LOL. I just can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by … quite scary really! But I’m so proud of all my boys and their achievements (in case you hadn’t already guessed). And I would venture to say that a lot of their wonderful achievements are because of Asperger’s Syndrome, NOT in spite of it!

And yes, I know the “typical” nerdy aspie fields of interest are represented here… computer programming,¬† IT, robots, engineering, model trains, rote learning/memorization, creative arts etc. Don’t ya just luv it?! ūüėÄ

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