Hoboken bound

Time files, weather you’re having fun or not!

I feel very old, but also very proud.

Xander has graduated from Eastern View High School in Culpeper, Virginia, and is preparing to go to college. I have to think about that for a moment. There are dozens of cliché sayings about how time passes at one speed for adults, another for children, and dilates and compresses at will when attempts are made to synchronize them. But no matter how you look at it, the baby I carried home from Adventist hospital in Takoma Park, Maryland, back in 2006, is now eighteen, out of high school, and preparing to go to college.

They’ve had to deal with all of the usual growth issues, and some unusual ones. Such as managing friendships, dealing with difficult classmates, and even more difficult teachers! They’ve dealt with cyberbullies, duplicitous fair-weather classmates, emotional abuse from specific adults, the loneliness and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, dysphoria issues, the difficult decision to undergo hormone adjustment, and even the decision to legally change their name. Worst of all was the tragic death of their younger brother. Having a front row seat to my gradual mental breakdown probably wasn’t fun either. But even so, Xander managed to slog through all of that.

High school, and the teen years in general, are usually a rough ride for everyone. I remember dealing with a variety of issues back in that toxic swamp I called high school. I drew on my experience as best as I could to help guide Xander through that mass of brambles. I can honestly say that Xander handled things better than I would have. Xander is far more mature, and seems better adjusted than I was at that age. And they clearly have more raw intelligence than I ever had.

Later this year, Xander will begin college at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. They plan to focus on software engineering, with perhaps minor in technical theater. They already have some high level certifications in cybersecurity and computer network administration (thank you, CTEC), and with near perfect grades, they have a very solid start.

Life can be crazy, and often times things don’t turn out right. But Xander is one thing that did turn out right. To say that I am proud of Xander would be a tremendous understatement.

Footnote: Washington Adventist Hospital of Takoma Park re-located to larger facility in nearby White Oak, back in 2019.

Photo credits: photos one and two were taken by Lisa Pugh on May 15 and May 18, 2024, respectively. The third photo was taken by me on May 26, 2024. Most colleges send a letter of congratulations when accepting a student, but Stevens sent a placard! Go figure.

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