Sunday, November 13, 2011

Not Sure If I Should Be Hopeful or Not: Today's my once-a-month day to post on the blog Hopeful Parents, and for once I actually did it early in the day rather than at 11:59 p.m. This month's entry is about the unlikely prospect of my son going to his senior prom, and why I can't run screaming and laughing from that idea as I entirely should, as my husband totally can. Why does prom have such a stupid emotional pull on moms, so that we secretly plot our children's attendance and feel sad if they don't go? Are we just doomed to relive high school ourselves, over and over again?

1 comment:

Pam said...

For me, homecoming parades were my main source of emotional pull - when my son was a baby I was in a parking lot nursing him when a high school homecoming parade passed and I did not see a single person with Down syndrome on a float or in the crowd. Of course, I probably would not have been able to recognize whether a person had DS or not, but at that time I did not see teens or adults with DS while we were out and about at all.
Then when my son was in high school it turned out that the homecoming float committee was mostly made of his mainstream kindergarten classmates, and he was invited to help out, and each year helped plan the theme, and in his senior year acquired costumes from one of his theater productions. That mom of a baby in the parking lot never allowed me to take for granted that something like that would happen. And I still can't write about him not going to a prom.
I think Simon Olshansky's observations in the 60's about what he called "chronic sorrow" in parents of children with disabilities was not named quite right - although I would not have appreciated 'chronic anxiety' or any of many less clinical titles. We do measure so much by our high school standards of success and popularity, even though adult life turns out to offer so much more appreciation for the diversity or our children's talents and their opportunities. And my high school self is much more with me even than that mom with a baby in the parking lot.