Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Graduates

Photos: Top, Jeff receiving his Nursing pin; Middle, Miss Elaine and Aidan; Bottom, Miss Terri and Aidan

I am so proud of all the graduates in this family! Last Friday, on May 15, we celebrated Jeff's graduation/pinning ceremony for nursing school. At long last! I could not be more happy for Jeff nor more proud of the career path he has chosen. His patients couldn't be luckier than to be in his care. I am so proud, too, of my brother, who earned his Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, also on May 15. His passion, strong advocacy and activism, commitment to helping others, and his determination will prove invaluable to the countless people he helps. Finally, Aidan "graduated" from preschool yesterday, and is officially a kindergartener. We celebrated his accomplishment at the preschool picnic yesterday, a bittersweet and tender affair. Aidan's teacher, Terri, has known him since he was 18 months old and in her Tumble Buddies class. We were both in tears as we said goodbye. She, along with co-teacher Elaine, helped him to blossom and soar this year. They taught him valuable skills, nurtured him, fed his curiosity, hugged away his worries, laughed at his witty jokes, and loved him exactly the way he is. I can only hope he will have teachers as exceptional as they are in his future school career.

Aidan's final evaluation reads like this: "We always look forward to a morning with Aidan. He is a very caring and sensitive young man. Aidan has a creative and outgoing personality. He paradoxically likes to play with everyone and no one at the same time. During centers and free play, Aidan circulates around the room jumping in and out of group play. He often creates his own imaginative scenarios in which he invites his classmates to join him. During small and large group activities, Aidan stays focused and shows a natural curiosity for learning. This will serve him well in the years to come. Aidan also has an excellent grasp of his letters, numbers, phonics, and pattern concepts. We feel confident that Aidan will excel in Kindergarten next year!"

And the year has come full circle. We pushed him... and he flew.*
(*See Blog from Thursday, September 4, 2008)

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