Moving Up Day: It is a moment in time which took many moments to reach. I had been warned by Peter's sweet and expert teacher to bring tissues. I had known I would be surprised by the way the day would hit me all at once. Even with all that, Moving Up had several moments which froze time as Peter accomplished things I never expected.
For most of the children the ceremony was the easy part. For Peter it was like a final exam. At the DARE graduation he had an aide by his side. This time his aides were stationed with guests in the standing room only crowd (including Bill) along the wall. Peter was on his own as he marched in.
I could tell he was searching for me so as the guests sat down after the Pledge of Allegiance I stayed standing an extra moment smiling toward Peter. He saw me, grinned and settled down for an hour-long ceremony of speeches, music and certificates. Only a few squirms and a couple of little comments, but otherwise he did everything with the other students.
I cried when he sang with his class. He was on beat, even swaying to the music. I was holding it together until the classes broke up into two songs and Peter was still with them, grinning. He didn't even hold his ears until everyone began to clap and then only for a second.
Each time he had to leave the safety of his seat I hoped he would head back on his own and he did. I could see a couple of hand cues from his aides (they needed tissues too), but in the past that would not have been enough.
I marveled at all the actions Peter had to keep straight during the ceremony and thought back to when we tried to get him to follow one step directions. I sat in awe as he received his certificate and held it high in the air when he reached his seat until I gave him a thumbs up.
The one moment though that truly stopped time and I think my heartbeat for a moment was when all the "graduates" were handed a flower and told to bring it to their parents as a sign of thanks. One simple yellow carnation, maybe 100 steps from seat to me and back.
When they first said what was about to happen I went into Mom panic mode—what would Peter do since Bill and I were split. Wow it feels like kids are scattering everywhere, will Peter make it through the crowd, get back to his chair?
Then my graduate took control. He happily took the carnation from his teacher. He headed straight for me, smiling more and more with each step. He handed me the carnation and gave me a moment to say thank you. In a flash he was back in the sea of students and flowers headed back to his seat.
I cried for the entire song. They were playing a "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" mix with many more dreams come true lyrics than I remember Dorothy singing. I sat, cried and wondered how many more dreams would come true for my little boy, now officially a middle schooler.