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4:21 p.m. - 2011-06-17

Day started out a complete Jonah day (if you're an Anne of Green Gables fan) otherwise known as a Murphy day. Series of teeny disasters, glitches and random head bonking, toe stubbing, and in one spectacular move- jabbing a blob of moisturizer INTO my eye. The shirt I wanted to wear had a small tear in the shoulder seam which took an agonizing 15 minutes to sew up (couldn't get a needle out of the case, then couldn't thread it, etc)… turns out I put it on and the damn shirt had a big shadowy stain on the front. A ghost of marinara past, I guess. Find a new shirt, rethink jewelry, and then to wind up the whole 'LA cannot dress herself' farce I whacked myself in the face with a sandal. I was trying to get the sandals loose from the cardboard noose they come on from the store and one shoe was being stubborn then suddenly came free. WHAP! Right in the kisser. Smacked myself hard enough to make my eye water.

You've gotten the idea, I'm sure. A real stinker of a morning.

Awards Day fixed it though.

The dealie at Wolf's school was a blast. My son won so many medals he should have just stayed up on the stage instead of having to go back to his seat every time. I'm not even disappointed he didn't win the medal for best overall student this year, his best friend won it and I'm just as glad for Mack as I would have been for Wolf. MIL and I clapped until our hands stung. It was wonderful to see so many of the boys getting rewarded for their hard work. I've known most of those kids since they and Wolf were in 4th grade. Astonishing how tall and fuzzy they've gotten. I see now why Wolf's forever lamenting his baby smooth face. Most of them had some attempt at a mustache, Julio even has a little lint ball of a goatee to go with the furry caterpillar on his upper lip. Wolf's misfortune to be the youngest and one of the fairest complected in his grade. Kid, don't expect to grow your own 'stache before you're 30. Ain't gonna happen.

Fuzzless or not, I couldn't help but be pleased by MIL's comment later that she thought Wolf was by far the best looking kid there. I've always secretly thought so too, but it's not the kind of thing I can say aloud. And I always feel weird saying my kid is good looking anyhow, he wears my face. Narcissistic much?

And while I'm in the neighborhood of shameful admissions I was deliciously pleased when Wolf's arch nemesis, Evil Cody, didn't win a single thing. Not one! Not even a lame 'certificate of recognition' for participating. And they were handing those out like popcorn. Foul-mouthed cretin. Can't stand that kid. Made Wolf's life miserable this year with his nastiness and jackholery. Not only am I pleased Evil Cody didn't win anything, his miserable school performance pretty much makes the future I predicted for him all the more likely. Told Wolf we would see Evil Cody again. A few years from now when his mug shot's in the paper. I'm telling you, this kid has "Doing 5-7 for stealing copper pipes" written all over him.

By law the school has to be open next week, by custom very few of the students attend. Report cards are out already. Awards Day is over. Nothing to do really. I told Wolf it was up to him if he wants to go or not. I do need to know in advance so I can call the bus garage so no last minute staying home. He agreed.

Basically my kid's hellish two-year sentence in jr high is over. So is his time at alternative school. Heading back into the mainstream in the fall. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried. It's nice to know I'm mostly worried for him and not just worried about him. It's a relief to be looking at a new school year and not already be cringing over what crap he might pull.

Wow. All of a sudden it feels like I just put down a big heavy box. A box I didn't know I was carrying until I wasn't any more. Something just now unknotted inside. Whew.

Right now I'm not going to borrow trouble and think about all the stuff that could go wrong with Wolf attending district school. Nope. I am going to think about how great it is that he can.

I'm going to think about his prize winning Social Studies essay and all the compliments I get about how articulate he is and how well versed he is on current events and I'll remember the rampaging 5 year old who could not/would not respond to questions and rarely (if ever) gave any indication he'd heard you, even if you shouted. Wolf at 5 was barely a citizen of this planet, and certainly not much here in the commonly shared version of reality. His mind was closed to me too. This hardly ever happens to me, and to not 'hear' my own son was mystifying and hurtful. At 5 Wolf was still behind the wall. A wall I've spent the last decade hammering on.

I can't put it daintier. Because it hasn't been a dainty process. The worst day of my life was signing him into the hospital. Nothing that had happened to me hurt worse than seeing my son in such a terrible place. Physically and emotionally, he was in a horrible place and it killed me inside. I was angry too. Angry at the wall. The fucking wall between my son and the world. It was mostly the wall's fault Wolf was having such a hard time. Unable to connect the dots between feeling a blast furnace of emotions and what emotions mean. Wolf had no context, he couldn't learn from the shared experience.

I knew if I could get in there to him that everything would be different. Of course it helped enormously when Wolf caught on and started hammering away from his side. When enough light had gotten in and Wolf could peek through the cracks it made him want to come out. Without Wolf's desire to get past the wall I might have been able to knock it down completely and Wolf would have just stood there in the rubble refusing to move. He did this for himself. The wanting more for himself.

I am so, so proud of him. And something for me to keep in the big picture as we slog our way through the joy that is the American teenager. I'd never go so far as being glad he and his friends got drunk and stupid at a kegger in the woods, but honestly? It's kind of cool it might be on the menu. A Wolf still behind the wall would be lashing out and clueless, friendless, unable to participate in typical teenage debauchery and shenanigans. And the good stuff. Thinking about Wolf going to prom…teary smile every time.

Maybe the box I set down was really my toolbox, the one I've been carrying my hammers in. Could be. I'd like it if I didn't need them anymore.

Much love from the mom of the medalist with more golds than Mark Spitz, ~LA

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