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Running the clock

As we were getting ready for work the other morning, Julie stopped what she was doing and quietly said, “This morning when the alarm went off, I had this thought. I realized that in a few years, the day is going to come when we won’t be waking Schuyler up for school. I don’t even know what she’ll be getting up for in the morning, or what she’ll be doing with her days.”

We talk about this a lot, and I suppose I write about it pretty often, too. I won’t apologize for the repetition; it’s the colossal bugbear that haunts our thoughts and disrupts our sleep. Three years. Just three years remain before Schuyler is out of school. Three years to figure out what that looks like. One more year of high school, then two years of senior high. (Don’t ask; her school district does things weirdly.) And then she’s away, off on the next adventure. What that looks like, no one knows. But it’s coming up fast, and that inevitability is beginning to inform more and more of her life.

When Schuyler was in elementary school, she repeatedly told us, “School is fun.” That was back when she was in a special assistive technology classroom, and the world of communication was opening to her. When she got to middle school, her mantra changed to “School is hard.” She was being challenged, by teachers who wanted to include her in mainstream classes and band directors who were committed to using music and the community of band kids to give her a place in the world all her own. It wasn’t always smooth, and we weren’t always on the exact same page, but her team believed in her, and in the possibilities that her future held. Just like we do.

In this past year of high school, Schuyler has simply said “School is boring.”

We’ve reached a stage where Schuyler’s differences and challenges aren’t an appealing challenge at her school. It’s not cute anymore. It feels like her educational goals have become less about finding the way to reach Schuyler and more about getting her through her requirements and being done with public school, to be reclassified as “Not Our Problem”. It feels like they are simply ready for her to move on to whatever comes next.

Maybe the worst part? I kind of feel the same way.

Summer can’t get here soon enough.


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