I have blogged about my Austin before. You know that I am a very proud mommy. This will be a gushing blog post, so if you aren't up for it, you might just want to click away.
There have been so many times in his short 18 years that I wondered what would happen in his future. Since we got his Autism diagnosos when he was 5, there have been so many times I didn't know what would happen with him. I still have some worries about what will happen next, but for now I will just think about his accomplishments in the last couple weeks.
The Sunday before school was over, Austin graduated from Seminary. He sacrificed one elective class period every sememter throughout his whole four years of high school to take seminary. He made this choice on his own without any pushing from us. He studied his scriptures, he participated in his class and he did all the work. But he wasn't the only kid to do it. Not only did every senior in our ward graduate with a four year certificate, every kid in our stake did! I am so proud of him and all of those kids. (I was Austin's cub scout leader for a couple years and Jim was the scoutmaster for those kids, so we know and love them all) Below are a few of those boys that we love so much. They have been great friends to Austin.
Then came the last week of school. Austin was in the End of Year Assembly. He loved being involved! He loved being in high school. He loved opening the door for everyone. He loved all the friends he made at Syracuse High School. I loved how they embraced him and his quirky ways.
Then came the big day... Graduation! So many people were involved in getting him to that day. I appreciate all of them and all they did to help get him to this. And not only get him there, he got there with his class and with a 3.5 GPA. He worked so hard! He loved seeing those A's on his report card. He's such a good boy!
Then it was time to celebrate! I told him I wanted to take him on a trip and he could choose where he wanted to go. And just like a "Disney Kindred Spirit", like a kid after my own heart, he chose Disneyland. He loves all things Disney, just like his mom, and that was where he really wanted to go. And it was worth every penny...
A lot of people don't like to go to Disneyland because of the crowds and the lines. I have never been in June because of that. But we went and we made sure we had plenty of time. We started with a visit with my dad, Austin's Papa Ralph. We went to an Angles game and then Papa dropped us off at our hotel. We checked in and went straight over to the parks. The lines were long but much more tollerable with an 18 year old than with toddlers. My favorite part of the trip was just watching his face as he experienced his old favorites and some of the new things. (California Adventure was still being built the last time we were at the Disneyland Resort in CA) He loved Sorin' over California, the new Little Mermaid ride and World of Color, the night time show. I enjoyed watching his face while he watched the parade down Main Street and when he met the characters at our breakfast in the park.
It was so fun for me to be able to spend some one on one time with my Austin, even though he almost ran me into the ground. (I had to recover for a few days after!) We are as close as two people can be when one of them has Autism. It was fun to be able to have little conversations with him, something that is not so easy to do. It was fun to be able to spoil him and let him make decisions about where to go and what to do on those days.
We aren't quite sure what is next for him. He wants to work with animals and he wants to serve a mission. We know what ever he does he will do his best and he will work very hard. He will make us proud as he has the last 18 years. We love him and we are so proud of him!