The countdown for summer break is on and I often wonder how this school year would have been for Austin.
Austin was excited to be a freshman and looked forward to high school. I feel like he barely got started and then he was gone. It hurts to think about all the school memories I won't have of him, all that he didn't get to do. So, I focus on the happy memories I have of his school days.
He was so ready for school, the night before his first day of preschool, that he put his shoes and backpack on and headed for the front door, in his underwear. The second day, he came home saying he was done, as he already knew his ABC's.
Austin was most excited about riding the bus and didn't understand why it didn't arrive the first several days. I vividly remember waiting for him at the bus stop in my mom's driveway the first day it did. He sat in a green lawn chair, so happy to be "big" and so anxious to ride. I wiped away my tears as he skipped onto the bus, little hand waving to me from the window above.
He went to preschool for speech and it frustrated him that he couldn't say the words like he knew they were supposed to be. Austin was smart and learned so quickly. He probably grew tired of preschool because he really did know a great deal before ever going. He did enjoy being with the other children though.
Throughout school, he did well. He was frequently on the honor roll, received numerous awards and was selected as a gifted student. His conduct was always wonderful and never once was I called from school for a behavior problem. In fact, Austin was chosen to be a Natural Helper in middle school. He was voted by his classmates as someone who was a role model and a friend they knew they could talk to.
In the Gifted Program, he often got to attend college classes at Western and OCC. Science was his favorite subject and he'd stand so proud, walking to the lab. He couldn't wait until he really was old enough to attend college. I often wonder what he would have majored in - what he would have been when he grew up.
Last week, I received a call from the high school. They had awards that transferred from last year for CATS testing. Austin scored proficient or distinguished in all of his tests. Tim picked the certificates up and they are on my countertop. I so wish he were here so I could hug and congratulate him, to let him know how proud we are. How proud of him we've always been...and always will be, in every aspect of his life. I hope he knows.