I used my lunch hour early today and met my mom and aunt T at Wildwood for Jonah’s “moving up” ceremony, which in his case takes on another meaning, as he is also “moving out.” We sat there amid the mild noise and semi-chaos of a room full of kids with autism, me wondering if they’d get Jonah up on the stage at all. He wasn’t in the room – they had him out in the hallway and were pulling him around on the scooter. Three classes “moved up,” his being the last.
The first class was seated on the stage, each child waiting for his or her turn – a miracle, in my estimation. The teacher handed each child a certificate honoring some particular accomplishment or progress achieved over the course of the year, and announced the gains each child had made.
The next two classes needed aides to guide the kids onto the stage, the crowd chuckling as some kids hurdled the stage instead of walking up the steps. One cute boy I know bowed deep and got some laughs. Jonah was the second in his class to be announced. At first it was like that scene in “The Sound of Music” where they announce the Von Trapp family and everyone applauds, but the Von Trapp family has fled and never appears. Then they evidently halted his scooter just outside the door and he was escorted in by two or three assistant teachers, who ushered him up the stairs and then snuck him off backstage.
I don’t even recall what they recognized him for. Best biter? Champion shit-smearer?
At least he was wearing the Guster shirt I bought him.
Later, back at work, I was melancholy and silent about the whole thing, but then my co-worker, K, came in to ask me how the graduation went. “It’s more of a moving up ceremony,” I explained. K’s in a band and I knew what would happen next: we broke into a spontaneous rendition of the theme song to The Jeffersons:
Well we’re movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deeee-luxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up,
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie!
Fish don’t fry in the kitchen;
Beans don’t burn on the grill.
Took a whole lotta tryin’,
Just to get up that hill.
Now we’re up in the big leagues,
Gettin’ our turn at bat.
As long as we live, it’s you and me baby,
There ain’t nothin wrong with that…
No, there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.