He’s had something on his mind all week, but he hasn’t been ready to tell me. When I read the school announcements this morning, I figure it out.
8th Grade Reflections: Items needed by EACH student:
- One infant photo
- One toddler photo
- One current photo
- A favorite quote (school appropriate)
- Video describing your favorite 8th grade memory
Perhaps my own memory is faulty, but I don’t remember the end of eighth grade as a rite of passage or a special achievement. Eighth grade ended, and we moved on to ninth grade with no fanfare.
But now there is fanfare. A graduation ceremony. A celebration. And, apparently, a reflection. With photos. Photos my son doesn’t have.
Of course a child adopted at an older age isn’t going to have baby pictures or toddler pictures. But adoption isn’t the only experience that might separate a child from the photographic record of his or her life. My son may be the only adopted kid in his class, but he is probably not the only kid who feels excluded and singled out by the requirement of “one infant photo” and “one toddler photo.”
I email the principal. She agrees to change the language to “Two childhood photos.” That was my suggestion, but in retrospect, I worry even that isn’t inclusive enough for all of the possible experiences of these eighth graders, all of the ways that something as seemingly simple and straightforward as two childhood photos may not be simple and straightforward at all.