Good Day Yesterday

Two things made yesterday one of those really rare, perfect days.

Sixth Grade Graduation
First, a little boasting. Purely for context, mind you. My twelve-year-old son is in the gifted student program in his school, which is awesome on its own merits. The fact that he is also the top student in that gifted students program is icing on the cake.

And because he’s the top student in his class, he had to (didn’t want to — like Susan, he shuns the spotlight) give a speech at his sixth-grade graduation yesterday.

What he did with the speech, though, is what I really want to boast about. He surprised his mom by finishing with a tribute to her. It begins two minutes into the speech (He’s a soft-spoken boy, so you’ll have to turn up the volume on your computer):

A little more about this son. A week ago, when I found that he’s one of the top students in his school, I wanted to do something special for him. I mean, he had achieved this just because of who he is — I haven’t offered any kind of “Get an “A,” get a prize” bribe to him. And yet, even with everything going on, he’s continued to be incredibly conscientious about school.

So I told him, “Back when I was a kid, my parents bribed me to get even reasonable grades. But you’ve gotten incredible grades just because it’s the right thing to do. I’d like to give you a reward. Think about something you want, and if it’s reasonable, I’m going to get it for you.”

What I didn’t tell him was what “reasonable” meant. Although my “reasonable” went pretty darned high for this kind of accomplishment in the face of pretty lousy circumstances.

Every day for a week, I’ve been asking him, “Have you figured out what you want?” Every day, he’s said no.

Then, yesterday morning, he said, “Dad, stuff just isn’t all that important to me.”

How could a dad not be proud of a son like this?

A Talk With the Doctor
OK, now the other good part of yesterday. Each Thursday, Susan meets with a radiation oncologist, where he asks her scary questions about her symptoms. Does she have crippling headaches? Does she have seizures? Is she losing her memory?

Susan’s answering “no” to each of these questions. Further, she isn’t experiencing the overwhelming fatigue most people get after brain radiation.

Susan’s doing, in short, exceptionally well.

So the Doctor said that after Susan’s last radiation treatment, there’s no reason for her to stop by for a checkup for six weeks or so.

Yeah, yesterday was a really good day.

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