no, i am not comparing but yes, i set a slightly lower benchmark for ariff compared to his brothers (elder and younger). ariff doesn't gel with the conventional syllabus. he doesn't take to reading and writing, especially. he shows more interest in arithmetic and probably does better in that field. but he likes best, non-conventional subjects, like arts and crafts, cooking, dancing, acting, making friends, public speaking, performing. he excels in those and because of that, he's different from his brothers.
despite all that, or maybe because of all that, i got terribly choked up at his graduation recently. there he is, the different one but the determined and 'i already know what i want to be when i grow up' one, is moving away from his (and my!) comfort zone. and i don't know who is more nervous - him or me.
ariff was an excited boy throughout the month - he had his birthday, his concert, his football practice and his graduation. he was practicing his graduation song everyday in october - westlife's you raise me up. come the day, he was all prepared and rearing to go. he wanted to change into his uniform at 11am when we were only supposed to be at the venue at 1pm. he was so happy that we were so happy for him.
and when he stepped into the hall with his his bounty classmates, i wanted to run over and give him a big fat hug. i was tearing up so bad, it was so embarrassing!
congratulations to abangdik, engku ariff iqhwan, who have been in the shadows of his brothers but shines with his determination and his knowledge, who teaches us about his interests. we will always encourage you to reach for your stars and hope you will always bring us back down to earth with your diversity.
entertainment pre-graduation ceremony
hms bounty graduates on stage
ariff receiving his scroll
ariff iqhwan on his big day