top of page

Drew is not the typical teenager. As he prepares for his high school graduation, he is forced to remember that the person who supported him the most will not be in attendance that day, his mother. She encouraged him to get as much education as he possibly could so that every door he wanted to be able to open would be a door that is available for him. But unfortunately, no one investigated the teenager who grew up constantly being punished in timeout. Sometimes it was what he said that got him in trouble and other times it was his actions, nevertheless he was always in some type of trouble. When he shares the stories of his childhood, we begin to understand that being in timeout for him was an opportunity for him to get all of the attention that he didn't get at home. Trying his best to not listen to his mother and father fought constantly his mother created a safe haven that she too called timeout, it required him to hide in a closet with his Walkman on playing loud music in hopes that she could shield him from what was on the other side of the door. It is not until his fifth-grade year when he is assigned the task of speaking to his future self that he is able to put words on paper to make sure that when he reads it many years later, he will remember how much his mother loved him and how treacherous his childhood was. A different coming of age story that reminds us how difficult it is to be a child that turns into a teenager who has known more hidden trauma than unconditional love.


  • I never understood why we have to wear robes and hats at graduation. You would think that because we are celebrating this monumentous first step in our young lives that we would be draped in vibrant bright colors or something that we’ve chosen for ourselves that shows off our personalities. This graduation gown is actually my mom's. There weren't many things that my mom accomplished in her life, at least as she would tell it to me. But she was absolutely most proud to tell me that she graduated from high school in the top of her class. I wouldn't say that the only thing she wanted for me was to be a high school graduate but it was definitely one of the first things on the list. She used to tell me, “Drew, I want you to graduate as many times as you possibly can. Walk across as many stages as you possibly can. So that you can become any and everything you want to be in life. Do it for me because I couldn't do it for myself.” My mom always made me smile with the inspirational things that she said. She was one of those people that to talk to her you would think she were a doctor or held some type of a higher education degree, she was so damn smart. But it was everything she learned from failing at nearly everything she tried. She failed to get her college degree. She failed at her marriage, she blamed herself for that. And I think if I could ask her today she would tell me that she also failed at being a good mother but, as I stand here with a very special letter in my hand I would tell her that she was wrong. That were it not for her I would not be in this robe and cap today. I wouldn't be stressed and extremely nervous because without her and her advice I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to do next. But for now, I guess I will just walk across the stage.

bottom of page