Friday, November 20, 2009

Tiny to, my how you've grown...

Elizabeth, Oscar Antonio and Fernando in the UCLA school grounds

Dad Fernando and Oscar Antonio

Grandfather, Alturo, former President of El Salvador, during his momentous speech at school. Callum and I have spent many mornings in his company and he always refers to Callum as "tete" which I've ended up doing too

My dearest friend at the UCLA Early Intervention Programme, Elizabeth, had her son's graduation today as each child must leave the programme at age 3. 'Twas not a dry eye in the house during the ceremony, culminating with a video of the last 18 months of Oscar Antonio's days at school. I was honoured to take their pics save the last one of Reu and I. Grandfather, Alturo, has been there every single day for his beloved grandson and recounted in his speech, exactly how many days and hours that meant along with how many hours they'd missed because Elizabeth was late for circle time. He was the former president of El Salvador, but in retirement, has become one of the most genteel men you could meet.

Am I supposed to feel sad and sentimental today, like a friend has moved on and I'm left behind? I shall so miss seeing them day in and day out, so miss Alturo watching Callum grow too and his wonderful fondness for him (and all babies and toddlers!), so miss Oscar Antonio's blossoming, so miss my daily friendship with Elizabeth.

Despite the challenges of Downs Syndrome, I've watched Oscar Antonio grow from a baby to a walking and talking toddler, happy, sociable and utterly charming.

And with bittersweet, mixed emotions, I wish them a happy future and delight at their son's graduation through the programme.

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