Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Life is full of them.  We look towards them, sometimes with joy and excitement and other times with trepidation.  Hopefully we look back on them with fondness and without sadness or regret.  Sometimes looking back can include all of these emotions.

This past week I was witness to one of the bigger milestones in my oldest son's life.  He graduated from High School.

Pleasant Grove High School Class of 2013. 

 He graduated from mine and my husband's alma mater.  He also had two grandfather's, a grandmother and many aunts, uncles and cousins who attended this same High School.  Our family doesn't fly far from the nest, it seems.

Here he is walking over to get his diploma.  When he raised his arms and stood there for a second or two I couldn't believe it!  It was out of character for him to do something like this.  But I LOVE that he did it!

Here he is receiving his diploma (well actually this was just the case, they had to pick up the diploma outside right after the ceremony)

Me and my boy.

I am so pleased with Jona.  With the choices that he has made.  He has autism and while he has an incredible mind he struggled with handing assignments in, working with people in groups and being able to express himself the way that he wanted to.  Seventh grade was especially difficult but after that he worked.  He worked really hard to get assignments handed in on time and to do the work he was given.  That's not to to say that he didn't need a reminder or two from mom and dad but his grades have always been good grades and I always looked forward to parent/teacher conferences with his teachers.

 George, Ty, Me, Jona, Kenna and Jillian
The Family

 One of Jona's biggest struggles is in the social arena.  He stumbled onto the "Brony" community and found a love of the new version of the tv show "My Little Pony".  He really connected with this community and show and the message that it sends out.  One of inclusion and that everyone is different and that's okay.

For his seminary class this year he was asked to participate and either do a talk or a musical number.  He chose to do a musical number but he didn't choose a hymn or a traditional Christian song he chose one from the MLP community called "It's Great To Be Different".  If you want to listen to it you can go HERE.

These are the words to the chorus and then the words to one of the verses.

"Isn't it great to be different?
Isn't it wonderful to be exactly who you are?
When you learn to start accepting yourself
You'll become a shining star

I just wanted to tell you that the hardest thing I've faced
Wasn't the teasing or the pain
It was convincing myself I wasn't stupid, strange, or lame
And helping others do the same."

Isn't that amazing?  Isn't HE amazing?

I knew it would be hard to pick him out among all the other graduates on the floor so I got him a Brony sticker to put on his graduation cap.  It says has a pony with the words "Every pony equal. Every Pony Loved" at the bottom.

Here he is showing off his diploma

And jumping for joy that he's done!!

To be perfectly honest I am unsure how I feel about this milestone.  I have so enjoyed watching him grow and learn.  And, in all honesty, he has taught me so MUCH.  He has made me become a better mother and a better person. 

Jona is now getting ready to put papers in to serve a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It is the next milestone.  

He will be an incredible missionary.  I know it.