...and I'm not sure how to feel about it.
He's almost 19, held back for not being "emotionally ready for the next grade". Even that didn't help as he's always had below average grades, not from lack of intelligence, but from not doing his work and/or seeking excuses rather than just doing what's asked of him.
In the last school year he transferred to the Adult Education Center for reasons never explained to me. It could be due to all those truancies catching up to him, or due to all the trouble he's been in with the law including a felony and several misdemeanors, or due to his continual drug and alcohol use. I may never know as he lives with my ex wife...and it's not like she'd tell me anything.
About the only tabs I've been able to keep on him are through watching his grades online, and it blew my mind when he told me he was graduating a couple weeks ago. At that time he had two 'F's, two 'D's and two Incompletes, and not nearly enough hours for a diploma as his attendance was around 50/50. I have no idea what the standards for completion are at the Ed Center, but if he made it, it was by a fluke or a loophole in the system...or maybe they were just sick of having him around.
The thing puzzling me this last weekend was whether I could attend his graduation without stating what a farce I feel it is, but if so, what gift to give to a kid that has destroyed pretty much everything I've ever given him, and also what gift to give to send the right message to him as well as my younger two children. I'd considered the smartass gift of luggage, of a McDonald's uniform, a squeaking toy (for "just squeaking by"), but in the end I chose a wristwatch which I fully expect to be broken, lost or hocked within weeks.
Once he graduates, I wonder what will happen with him. He has stated no plans for his future, has no job (and hasn't been looking for one), has no car, no money saved, grades too poor for college, and a maturity level that girls his age aren't interested in him, leaving him to date druggie 15 and 16 year olds. He'll be 19 in August, and once my ex stops receiving child support...I wonder how long she'll allow him to hang around doing nothing to better himself.
Tonight after work I'll be attending the "graduation ceremony". This should've been a very proud moment for me, but I'm still torn. Do I act the part, keep my mouth shut except to congratulate him on his "achievement", or do I lay it out for him how abysmally prepared he truly is for the life ahead of him and tell him it's time to pull his head out of his ass and get busy? Either way is showing my love for my son. I honestly do hope he gets it together at some point, but being babied just prolongs the inevitable. *sigh*