I wanted to add a little to Ammon's post about graduation. I was able to slip away from work to go to the ceremony. Ammon didn't think I would be there because I had been requested to be to a new training session at work. I hadn't planned to go to the graduation because of that (and I didn't even know there was a graduation this week until the night before), but as the day wore on, I realized that I have never been on any field trips with any of my kids. I have rarely been to any of Ammon's school activities because I'm always hoarding my hours at work to save up for some "big" event to make sure I have the hours I will need. I struggled all morning long realizing how much I wanted to be there and decided I needed to be a mom and not an employee - so I told my boss I was going but I would be back as soon as it was over.
I'm so glad I went because I saw and experienced something I had not anticipated. Towards the end of the ceremony, all the 6th grade classes went up on stage to sing two very nice songs. Ammon knew every word and sang them all, clapping his hands with the group, moving his shoulders with the beat, etc. He was joyful in the songs. After the songs were done, they read the names of all the kids to get their certificates. They had asked that the audience hold their applause until an entire class was done and asked that no one hoot and holler because there were some kids who didn't have parents there and they didn't want anyone to feel badly. The first class was read and applause was rendered after they had received their certificates. Ammon's class was next and he was the first. They read his name, "Ammon Clark!" and the entire auditorium errupted into shouts and applause. All the kids in 6th grade were smiling, shouting and clapping for him. All the parents followed suit. I was stunned! As soon as he got his certificate, he headed back to his original seat by his aide, Keri. We were sitting directly behind him two rows away. He got to Keri and burst into tears. He cried and cried and cried! I started to cry as well. He told me last night that he was crying because he is happy to be going to junior high next year but he's very nervous. Part of it, I'm sure, is the fact that his best friends will not be going to the same school and Keri will no longer be his aide. There were so many emotions yesterday in that brief moment. The polite applause and no shouting rule was right back - they did not applause for any other student that way.
I'm so grateful for the outpouring of care and love that is shown to Ammon in so many small ways. We will miss this school but I have no doubt that Ammon's infectious personality will affect those in the new school just the same way.