I remember wearing my letter jacket practically year-round that year as I wanted everyone to know I was on the basketball team.
Friday night football games, followed by a school dance. Basketball games followed by gathering with friends at Pizza Hut. Late night meetups at the local college tennis courts to hang out and talk all night about deep topics like girls, dating, cars, and our plans for our lives. Visits to tour potential colleges. Clubs, parties, and school activities.
I have so many memories of my senior year in high school.
Last week my son started his senior year at the same high school I attended.
But his senior year won’t look anything like mine.
No school dances. No Friday night gathering with friends. No dating. He won’t play on any school sports teams. No visits to potential colleges. No new cars.
My son is profoundly challenged. He is in a Comprehensive Development Classroom at his school.
But here’s the deal and why I am peace with it.
This world is seemingly falling apart. Every day the news headlines bring us more bad news. Our country seems divided at every turn. Terrorism looms at every corner. No one feels safe anymore. People fight over seemingly anything. Shootings, arguments, protests abound.
But my son knows none of that. His disability, by leaving him cognitively challenged, has also left him pure, innocent, and unmoved by what is going on in the world around him.
All he knows is his parent’s deep, unwavering love and commitment to him. He knows that he is so well taken care of and provided for by parents who pray over him morning and night. He hasn’t a care in the world. To his way of thinking, all is well in his world.
He doesn’t know evil. Never heard of ISIS.
He does know unconditional love and grace.
Last Friday night at 8:30 when most high schoolers were just getting ready to go out for the night, we tucked our son into bed. We had hung out together on the back porch as a family after supper, and then he and I spent some time swinging together before his mother bathed him. After we prayed over him, he drifted off to sleep.
I didn’t have to worry about where he was, who he was with, what he was doing, or when he would be home. I watched him kiss his mother good night and hugged her neck.
How many eighteen year olds do that?
No, his senior year won’t look anything like mine. And I’m fine with that!