I've alluded to this on more than one occasion: it's been a tough year for our kid. Socially and academically, the ground sort of shifted underneath him and he's been a little like Wile E Coyote, hanging in midair until he determines whether gravity is the law or just a good idea.
His learning style and the structure of the traditional classroom have slowly, gradually, moved ever apart, now leaving something of a yawning gap where learning and success are supposed to reside.
With a wing and a prayer and the willingness to be an obnoxious parent, plenty of emails and phone calls and not a little bit of money, Dylan's doing something for the first time in a long that fits him like an educational glove.
What happens when you take a bunch of quirky, curious strangers age 11 and 12 and throw them on one of the nation's best university campuses and ask a creative, inventive scientist and his team to challenge these kids to create something wholly original and amazing?
Something wholly original and amazing, that's what. The spark is what happens. The spark that all kids are born with and that for so many, for just as many different reasons, grows dimmer and dimmer with each passing year. Even now, just reflecting on the joy that beams out of my son from that spark, the joy that bounces off me and his dad, the joy we've slowly gotten used to living without, even now here in the clean cool space of the giant coffee purveyor, the waterworks turn on unbidden. I have nothing but pure, unbridled gratitude.
Thank you, UW. Thank you to all the faculty, the T.A.s, the kind parking attendants, the administration, the dedicated people who run these programs - everyone who pulls together and makes this happen and makes it so easy. Thank you. You fanned the spark. You are saving a life.