Hard to believe our little boy has graduated. He really graduated a few months back when he had all the credits he needed and has been working ever since. Eric has learning disabilities, so we were so lucky when the school helped us find him a job.
It seems like he went from this…
..to this, in a blink of an eye.
We took a few pictures before we left for the ceremony. This is out in the front yard, under the mesquite trees, I love this picture of him. I knew that it would be hard to get good pictures of him during graduation, my camera only zooms so far. I had never been to a highschool graduation before (I was working and not able to go to mine), so I was pretty impressed.
It was so sad when the two students that passed away this year their parents accepted their diploma's, that is when I started to cry, I can not even imagine losing a child, at any age, and one just starting his adult life, it was so sad.
I also cried a bit afterwards, it seems after the ceremony is over and the kids have thrown their hats, we go out on the football field, and I was like "what? why?", and Jeff says "we just do", so off we go, he grabs my hand, and we start looking for Eric amongst all these hundreds of kids and their families doing the same. I saw a few kids that Eric graduated with, and we kept looking and looking, and then finally Jeff said "hey there he is", and just seeing him standing there holding his cap, all dressed up, he is such a handsome man, and it makes me sad to think of the what if's…what if Eric was a regular kid with no disabilities? would he have a steady girlfriend? would he be going to college? what if Eric was moving out about now? what if, what if, I mean I am sure we all do it, no matter what age our kids are, and whether they have a disability or not. Sometimes I get mad, cause of the hard times Eric will have as we get older, and when we are gone. But I also am so very thankful and I thank God every day, because Eric is considered one of the high functioning at work as he was in school. There are many more young people that have it harder then Eric, and we are blessed he is generally a good kid…heck he has his moods, but don't we all? I sure do, and to be honest those are usually when Eric seems worse cause my patience and Eric's are about the same…very slim at times. Jeff is the best, cause he just goes with the flow and takes it all in stride. God knew what he was doing when he put us all together, us 3 make a complete, not perfect, but a very lucky family indeed.
Wow, listen to me blabber, this was to be a happy post, and it is, sorry about that…let me get back on track…
Here is Eric in his cap and gown, I have never seen him stand taller then when he had this on…he had "the strut" going on, and he totally (I think) was the best dressed out there, he followed the rules, they were told what to wear and what not to wear, and we were suprised to see some of the clothing under the robes.
Here he is getting his diploma, see how far away it was? I am hoping that the picture that the school photographer took will be a good one. They are to be on-line sometime, but they were not up yet.
Here they are throwing their caps in the air, Jeff said the kids went over and formed FHS on the grass first. You could not tell from the stands.
It was so funny, when we found Eric he had his cap and he put it on and said "what do you think? is it mine?" cause we told him to take the tassel off before he threw his hat. I do believe this cap is more snugger then the one he went with, but we figured he won't wear it again…well maybe when we dress him up again, so we can get OUR picture taken with him. Can you believe it, we didn't even get our picture taken with him. I mean we didnt' have anyone to do it, but I could have propped the camera up on something. Dad Gibbs' called a few hours ago and he was surprising Eric by coming to his graduation party, he got here a little bit ago, and Eric was like so surprised, and Grandpa said "hey Eric, will you do something for me?" and Eric said "yes" and Grandpa said "will you shave for me?" and I'll be darned if he didn't, now of course the pics won't be the same cause he is clean shaven…ha! He'll do anything for Grandpa.
Here is Eric with one of the football coaches.
Well I am getting off here, we gotta get up early in the morning to get ready for the party.
Have a great Saturday and thanks for stopping in!
I'm thrilled for ALL of you! Thanks for sharing this very special day with us blog readers and the PICS! He is such a good-looking young man. Congratulations to all three of you!!!
You made me cry! Super sweet post. He's a good kid (I can say that, I'm old) and it's because he has you and Jeff as his parents.
Joan B says
What a great post. I wish Jeff much luck in the future.
Ah he looked awesome. You made me cry reading this ya bum! I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures with him! That is great that Grandpa was able to come. I wish we could have been there for him too. He did look pretty sharp in that red gown!!!!
Where did the time go anyway? Oh yeah….I think I might take up football if the coaches look like that!!!
give Eric a big hug for me.
Jackie W. says
Congrats to Eric! You should be so proud – that is awesome!
Terry Molineux says
Di what an amazing feat! I have a mentally challenged sister, very high functioning but unfortuantely she stopped school at grade 8 (back then ~ she is 61) they didn't have the knowledge or the schooling they have today. Your pics and story made me cry for her. She so would have been proud of herself. She is a very loving and caring person and most of the time made fun of and it breaks my heart! I lost both my parents Dad in 1984 and my Mom in 1995 so I am her guardian and at times it is rough especially on my family and mostly my husband. I lose my patience with her sometimes but I do love her. Thank you for sharing your success story with Eric and I am very happy he was able to accomplish graduation! My sister has been working at the same place for 21 years! He has about 50 percent of his employees are handicapped in many different ways. Her boss is a very caring person….I wish Eric much happiness and success at his NEW JOB!!!!
Erin McMilon says
What a wonderful day for you and your family! Eric is a handsome young boy and happiness and contenment beams from his eyes – what more could a parent want? I believe that God love his children, all of them. I also believe that God gives special children to special parents. Eric's mission here on this earth may be different but I believe it is because he is such a special spirit that his mission here on earth isn't for him, he's already perfect in the Lord's eyes, it is for us… You wear a special halo and are lucky and blessed to have Eric in your family! This is a beautiful post… I cry at the thought of my oldest going to preschool next year and you cry because yours is graduating – we moms are something else aren't we? Thanks for sharing your story today… it really made me smile!
What an accomplishment for all three of you.
Congratulations. Enjoy the party and thanks for sharing the grad pics with us.
jules p says
great story. my oldest daughter graduates this coming friday. i have tried to not cry much..but i can feel it "coming on". plus she will be leaving our nest in august to head about 3-4 hours away to college. YIKES!
love the pictures. very good!
Cindy Lawrence says
Aw, Di, ya went and made me get all teary. What a proud day for all of you! He is just BEAMING!!! Congratulations to Eric, and to his proud mama and papa! 🙂
Oh, gosh…I have tears in my eyes for you. My oldest graduated 3 years ago and my middle son graduates next year. Change is hard for everyone but you are dealing with it beautifully! I always tell my friends not to blink from about middle school (my youngest will be in 6th grade next year) on because everything speeds on by!
Congratulations Eric! HUGS to you all!
Sheena B says
Congratulations to the entire graduating family! Your son could not have done it without the love and support that he obviously has from you and your dearly beloved. Your pride and love shine through in your words. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring day with all of us bloggers.
Tracy Altemose says
Yup!!! I'm crying too!! The pictures are great! Eric is all Manly Man Grown Up!! He has had wonderful examples in his Mum and Dad whom have molded him into the Fine Young Man he is. What a Blessing you all are to eachother!
I agree completely with Erin McMilon! You are one special woman to have Eric as a son. And your husband too! Your post made me cry and feel all nostalgic…
Congratulations Eric on graduating! You looked awesome and SO handsome in your cap and gown!!
Congratulations to Eric !!! It's quite an accomplishment for any kid to graduate these days. Tell him he's in for a bug hug the next time I'm out there … if it doesn't rain. Betty
Congratulations to all of you! I have a "special" granddaughter and at times it breaks my heart to think of what she will have to go thru in her lifetime – but she is such a blessing and so very loving I would not trade her for anything. God knows what he is doing and I think he put her in our lives so we could look at life thru different eyes and she always has a hug for everyone! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us and your son is a very handsome young man and I know you stand 3 feet taller because of all he has accomplished!
Wendy Hawkinson says
Your post was just what I needed. Our little guy, Evan was diagnosed w/ autism in 2010-he's 2. I have been 'blue' for months going through the 'whys' and 'what if' and 'why us'–It was wonderful to stumble across this post of Eric graduating. Gives me hope.