Sunday was a hectic and emotional day here. Lots of wrapping up of activities and teen experiences. It was Rob's last RE Sunday at our church. He received recognition for his help in some of the classrooms this year. He has been a special helper to a young fellow with some behavioral challenges, greatly improving the classroom environment. The younger kids had parts in the service. KC read a haiku that he had written, Lissa and he both helped their classes with a musical selection.
Part of what our church does for the graduating seniors is to give them all the pictures and art that have been saved by the program director. In Rob's case, he was there since he was 5. It was a LOT of pictures. And I was struck by so many things looking through them. Once more, seeing the haunted empty look when he was so young and watching that change in the pictures over the years. I watched the smile become genuine and reach his eyes. I watched his body posture change. I was also struck by adults who spoke about how Rob is not a talker, but a do-er. As a member of the Coming of Age, his silent demeanor had been a bit of a challenge. However, during that year, his mentor ost his father and Rob took it upon himself to write a letter to his mentor. Which so moved the man that he still has the letter and tears up when he mentions it. "What Rob does, comes from his heart, " was the statement that struck me.
Then we had a picnic at church and from there, came home to get ready for Rob's final piano recital. It was only 3 years ago that Rob asked to take piano lessons and he is a really good pianist. Not in the classical sense, but he is a great jazz pianist. He feels music and has a creative musicality. Reading music isn't his strong suit and neither is being an accompanist--but listening to him play music by John Coltrane accompanied by a jazz ensemble was really pretty awesome. I felt badly as we had to leave right after his pieces because we had to get back to our church. I made sure I facebooked the music school and thanked his teacher and explained publicly. I would have been annoyed if I had a child yet to play and saw a whole row of people marching out. LOL He wrote back about how much he has enjoyed Rob as a student and how intuitively musical he is.
Then it was back to church for a vespers service featuring one of our favorite folk singers--Joe Jencks. Long time readers will perhaps remember that Joe is from Chicago as are both KC and Lissa. Once he performed at our church on KC's birthday and sang happy birthday to him. KC has never forgotten that and would not miss a performance of Joe's ever if he had a choice. After vespers I brought the littles home, but K hung out in the city as it was Rob's last youth group and it was the Bridging ceremony, leading the way to young adulthood. He brought home several lovely momentos and will be attending General Assembly in RI later this month with the youth group contingency.
The day was so jammed that it was really the ensuing few days that I felt the emotional aftershocks of it all. In many respects Rob is our first for a lot of these experiences. Chet was never able to handle the Youth Group environment. The lack of rigid structure made him unable to hold things together. He was never able to take part in any type of musical recital as he would get overwhelmed with the sights sounds and sensations. (however he did take guitar lessons for many years and enjoyed that) Likewise, Chet has never left home and some day, Rob will fully spread his wings and fly. We are in the midst of all the paperwork and hoopla that accompanies the college experience--another thing that Chet did not do. And I stand on the narrow parental ledge equal parts proud and a bit melancholy as I truly can't imagine what the house will be like when he is not here all the time!