Jared says that a lot, when he notices someone wearing a similar shirt, or eating something that he's had before: "It's the same, but different." I always chuckle when he says that. "Then Jared, it's not really the same, is it?" I say. But I think I know what he means now when he says that.
This past weekend offered yet another transition for Jared, that from graduate to "sometimes college student." He is participating in "college for a week": a New Visions program offered at a local community college. Individuals with special needs go live in the dorms, eat in the dining hall, and take life skills classes. Since Jared has been saying he wants to go to this particular school when he is done with high school, we thought we would check it out.
So, this past Saturday, Jared and I went to Target to "college shop". As we stood there pondering toothbrush holders and travel-size sunscreen, I found myself asking him questions like, "What color soap dish do you want?" and "Make sure you pick up a toothpaste." I said these things when people were close. I wanted them to know that my child is going places, that like the tall boy with his stack of sheets and case of powerade, my son too is going to college. It's the same...but different.
Jared treated me to sushi after our shopping spree (thank you to those of you who gifted Target at his graduation party!) I sat across from my son. Again, I found myself thanking him for buying me lunch, thanking him so the people around us heard. I'm not sure why I do that; Maybe I'm trying to prove to them that my child is growing up too, that he is a son to be proud of. I think I'm convincing myself too. He is a spectacular person, my son. He's the same...but different.