Yesterday I was feeling a little bummed out. All day I scrolled through my FB feed of my classmates posting about graduation.
I should have walked with them. I should have completed my MFA program. I should have handed in my thesis. I should have completed my novel. I should have...
Four years ago, I graduated from Lehman College. Two weeks before I graduated, The Boy was diagnosed with Autistic Disorder and Global Developmental Delay.
And you see, there he is looking me right in the eye. I think he was proud of me that day. I can't remember anything about my graduation ceremony other than that photo. And how I felt having The Boy run up to me.
What I also remember about that day was not caring about the importance of what I had achieved. After 15 years of working my way through school, after 4 transfers, after 9 jobs, after a marriage and pregnancy and The Boy's autism diagnosis - I graduated with honors. And my thesis - received highest honors. I should have been proud.
But all I could think about was The Boy.
So, when I started the MFA program at City College - I told myself that I was going to remember my ceremony. I told myself that I would feel proud.
"I should have graduated today," I told The Husband last night.
And in typical husband fashion, he said "Don't worry babe. Think about all the things you have done."
I was published on Parents.com
This blog was named on Babble's Top 30 Autism Blogs for Parents
I was invited to speak at Hispanicize.
I've been interviewed on the radio. Twice.
I went to The White House. THE WHITE HOUSE!
I may not have graduated yesterday but I have a lot to be proud of. I was feeling bad about taking this last semester off but I've been productive. And I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.
I am grateful for The Husband who continues to put things in perspective for me. I am grateful that he is supportive of everything I am doing.
I am grateful for The Boy for giving me my voice. For teaching me to imagine. For allowing me to see beyond the diagnosis. And most of all, for teaching me to dream, new dreams.
* I am linking up with Bella Vida by Letty today. The theme is Gratitude.
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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.