Tuesday, May 15, 2012
It's prom season, and I'm feeling a little sad about that. In just one year, Ashley will be of age and in the correct school grade to attend prom. But unless things change, she probably won't be going.
Ashley's school is very nice. The teachers and staff do their best to make every student, regardless of their level of ability, feel welcome and part of the student body. There is a group called Circle of Friends that brings together regular education students and special education students for many activities and events. I would probably classify this particular school as the most inclusive school in our county, a county which does not yet fully embrace the concept of inclusion. But what about prom?
The high school prom to me is akin to a young lady's coming out party or the Quinceanera of the young Latino girl. It's a time to finally dress up in a fancy dress, put on makeup and have one's hair done. Yes, I know a lot of much younger girls are doing those things long before their late teens today, but for Ashley the prom would be the first for those things.
I also remember it as a time for a first real date (yes, girls do that earlier today also). A date where a young man in a tuxedo picks the girl up in a car, either driven by the date or the date's parents. There were flowers for the wrist, and pictures taken by both parents. It's a time for memories, memories which will stay with the couple (or at least the girl) for a lifetime.
I already know that Ashley will not be asked to the prom. Yes, her teachers and I may be able to 'arrange' something, but that's not what I want for her. I want a real date with a handsome young man who truly wants to accompany Ashley to the dance. Or, I want someone special, someone who will make everyone else sit up and take notice, to agree to go to the dance with Ashley.
Remember when the young military woman asked Justin Timberlake to go to the Marine Corps Ball with her? That's what I want if there is not a student who wants to take Ashley to the prom. I don't know what famous young man I would want, or even how to contact someone, but I really wish I could make it so very special for Ashley.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Ashley likes sports - baseball and basketball - and she likes computers (Mark Zuckerberg??). But in reality, even if I could contact someone, the person would have to have a real heart for people with disabilities. I wouldn't want the famous person to agree just to get more publicity for themselves. Ummm, what are your suggestions? Tim Teebow? Justin Verlander? Maybe the DJ from the Ellen Show? Give me ideas.....