|Matt is the second from the left|
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
"courage and determination and happy smile"
Reflecting back on the Award Ceremony at Matt's School in November 2014...
Matt carefully walks up the stairs onto the stage. He know his balance isn’t great so he is cautious. His teacher is standing waiting with his certificate in her hand. Even though I am watching from a distance, I can tell that this is special for him. He takes the cardboard in his hand. Hugs his teacher. With a broad smile he thoughtfully walks along the stage to where his peers are standing. He turns to the audience. And he proudly holds his certificate for all to see. It is very affirming.
Each child in his class gets a certificate and each certificate is different because his teacher has thoughtfully described the one or two strengths or character traits that make each child shine.
Matt’s certificate says:
For his courage and determination and happy smile
And I think about those words. They resonate with me. Because I know that Matt understands a lot more than he can say. His mouth lets him down often. I know that he wants to do more than what he physically can do. His body lets him down sometimes. I know that he sees this world a little differently to me, with some things that make headlines for him are not even noticed by others. Sometimes he doesn’t make sense to us and I am sure we don’t make sense to him.
And despite this he hasn’t given up or held back. Every day he has bounced out of our front door to school. He is always pushing the boundaries on what I think he can do. If he sees another child going down that fireman’s pole on the jungle gym then he wants to try too – even if his arms can barely hold him. If Nic says a poem then Matt wants to say it too, even if those words get stuck. There are many more examples of this strong drive that Matt has to participate. Even when it is hard for him. Even when it is new and scary.
And so yes, I too celebrate his courage and his determination and in the midst of joys and challenges…his happy smile.