To My Son, the Graduate

It was a night for which I couldn’t have been prouder. I witnessed my son, Kyle walk across the stage and receive his high school diploma.

It might seem like a simple piece of paper to some, by to Kyle, I sure it feels like the achievement of a life-time. That’s because of all the trouble had getting to that stage.

First, he had ear infections as a toddler that were so bad he developed a hearing problem. He was unable to hear certain sounds and this set him back when it came to talking.

Because of this he was held back in Kindergarten. It was a tough decision but one that was correct none the less.

Like most kids — Kyle struggled with the discipline of school. He also found himself bored with many of the subjects, preferring to ‘self-educate’ himself on that which interested him, such as art, science-fiction, the latin language and Greek and Roman mythology.

Kyle attended Christian schools until his senior year, when continuing with a private education became financially impossible to handle for his mother or myself. Excited by the prospect of going to public school, he enrolled at Galena High.

And despite repeated assurances and an eleven credit load that he would graduate on time in 2011 he came up short by half an elective-credit. It came down to the title of one class — “Christian Studies” verses “Religious Studies.”

So, set back once again, Kyle refused to surrender and go for his GED (though he seriously thought about it), and instead stepped up for one more semester of high school. In that semester he took art, photography, small-engine repair and welding.

The final day of the semester he was told by his art teacher he had failed her class because he had turned in incomplete paintings and drawings. Once again it look as if he’d have to complete yet another semester.

However, an artist since before Kindergarten, Kyle overwhelmed that teacher with work he’d completed over the years and she relinquished — but jus’ barely. She gave him a ‘D’ — which doesn’t look like much — but is a passing grade none-the-less.

Since then, Kyle’s been attending Truckee Meadows Community College and carrying a ‘B’ average. He has plans to attend the Art Institute of San Francisco — because it’ll offer him a foot into Pixar, Disney or one of those places that make animated films.

There are not enough words to express jus’ how proud I am of his success — not only for finishing school — but for his internal fortitude! Where others may have and some did fail to press on, he stayed the path and earned a bright future!

It’s more than either his mother or I could have asked for.

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