“How did it go? Are you okay?” I asked as he walked into the waiting room.

“It was okay, it was definitely weird, but I’m okay.” he replied.

The lovely woman lead me back her office to hear the results. She was extremely gentle and kind as she explained exactly where he fell on the bell curve.  Careful to express his strengths and gingerly tell me the places where growth might be needed. It was an intelligence test.

I finally relieved her.

“Dr. _________, I have to tell you, I totally appreciate what you do but I really do not care about this test AT ALL. I just want him to feel loved and be kind and grateful.” I said.

“Ohhhhh, well that is music to my ears.” she replied. She looked a little shocked and delighted at the same time.

…and a few days later, it was time for an awards dinner for this same boy who called the intelligence test weird, a lovely award…the only in his school. Awards are sort of a mixed bag because the truth is, you love your kid and are hella proud even if no one ever gets a plaque with their name carved in it, or a paper saying how great you are or how hard you worked. …and then there are moments when awards hold the space to celebrate the part of your kid that makes him or her special or dear.

…but that day I looked around, he seemed unaffected by the accolade…and yet more touched when Jorge helped him tie his tie, then held his face and kissed him…right in the middle of all the grouchy chaos of getting the family dressed up and out the door on time.

…when his brother turned and looked at him with wide eyes of pride every time they congratulated the honorees as if to say, “they are talkin’ about YOU” during the ceremony.

…when his Marmie bought a plane ticket to come see his moment, because she just does that…even if it means she has to work double the hours at her job.

…when it is more exciting to get ice cream/yogurt after than it was to get the actual award. The place is rad and seems the more appropriate place to celebrate any way….more like us.

…when your mom insists on taking a picture with you because she has none…and you know it will mean something to her (and you) when you are old. …and you even let her hold you tight, and too long.

…when your dad wears his bad ass sunglasses and lets you try them on and you imagine what it feels like to maybe be like him some day.

…and you forget what was ever said at that ceremony, or that award but you remember the family pride and deep love that was held for you…and how weird that intelligence test was.