Nay could not be more pleased. He repeatedly tells me he's ready to be around "bigger teens". Clearly he's tired of being the biggest kid at his school. He's also excited for some other challenges that I'll cover momentarily. I'm glad one of us is excited, because the other one "needs a drink".
Strangely enough, academics isn't much of a concern for me at this point. The boy is seriously bright. His academic evolution has been simply miraculous. I commonly use the fact that he could barely answer "who, what, why, when, where, and how" at 7 years old, but was inducted into Junior National Honor Society in sixth grade as my prime example. It's been amazing to watch.
This new chapter brings with it new challenges. We've begun working with the school already. We plan to gradually reduce Nathan's dependance on his personal aid, with the goal of eventually eliminating the need altogether. Nathan wants it. His self-sufficiency has grown immensely in the last 4 years. He now takes great pride in telling his aid "I've got this". It's her queue to step back and let him go forward unassisted. As his parents, Amanda and I know that reaching full academic independence is vital. Our goal of having him successfully complete college remains unchanged.
High School, the great social chipper-shredder of our society, that's where I'm sending my beloved "little big man". I'm not sure either of us are ready. Truth be told, he's probably far more ready than I. I hate to use the word hope. In general, I hate hope as a concept. Still, I can't help but "hope" that he will find new friends there who will see him for who he is and embrace him in spite of his differences. My own memories leave me far less than optimistic. The thought of Nathan continuing life without any "real friends" in his school setting is something I can't allow myself to ponder for very long. Nathan has real friends. Unfortunately, none of them are local.
Once more into the breach, at least the breach in my "comfort zone". I'm not excited to have a whole new list of unanswered questions and gnawing concerns. Looking back, I can't help but feel great pride in how far we've all come. I go forward knowing that God is faithful, Amanda is brilliant, and Nathan is amazing.