Big T was doomed from the start--in California, special ed students are shuttled from program to program, so he changed about five times before high school. In a way, it was okay because the same kids got shuttled with him, but in another way, there wasn't the same sense of continuity, and he knew it.
Chicken went from the private school across the street (for those of you who remember Shiny!, why yes, I used some of that school in that book, why do you ask?) to our "home" school which was a nightmare. She kept getting sent to the library to teach herself math on the computer program because she was one of two students not swinging from the light fixtures. Anyway, we moved her to Big T's Junior High, so for two years at least, they attended the same school, and she didn't know anybody and they threw food at her and bullied her and I spent a lot of time taking days off and hanging with her so she could make it through junior high.
They split up for high school--Big T had a program at one school and the other school had academics she couldn't get at Big T's school, so...
It was a luxury to have ZoomBoy and Squish here, at the same school. Even when ZoomBoy moved on to junior high, Squish wanted to keep going. She liked the continuity just like we did.
But next year is her last year, and it's starting to hit me.
There's going to be a whole lot of lasts at that school coming up--including "last Christmas choir, last spring choir, last back to school night."
Tonight was the spring choir--and Squish sang like an angel (I assume--she looked like one anyway) and I was glad to be there. Afterward we went out (per family tradition) and got hamburgers and generally laughed and teased each other.
One of Squish's songs was "Consider Yourself," from Oliver Twist, and we told Squish the story of how her sister danced to that song in the sixth grade, and her bloomers dropped from under her skirt and puddled on the ground. Squish already knew the story--come dance recital time, Joanna, the instructor, uses Chicken as an object lesson in just kicking the thing out of your way and keeping on keeping on, but Squish never knew it was this song.
And the story just made me remember--these things are finite.
Big T will never wrestle again, and they don't need us to show up at the college and talk about his student rights.
Chicken isn't going to dance for JoAnna's again. And she's played her last soccer game.
So has ZoomBoy.
Someday, Squish will too.
And while right now, going to choir was a it's a lot of hurry and "Hell, where's your shirt?" and "oh God we're tired" and a "We're leaving for my cousin's wedding tomorrow and we have no time!" I'm glad we went to hamburgers afterward for the family moment, and that Mate took some pictures.
Because we don't have too many more nights in a grade school cafeteria, listening to kids do their best to make music, left in our family.
And we're going to miss them when they're gone.