There is no doubt that teenagers tend to get a bad rap. Between the bullying and the weird YouTube videos and the drug use and the sassiness, most parents of children dread the day our precious babies turn 13. But there are some teens who make us realize things aren't really as bad as they might seem.
Maddie is a senior in high school, and in a story that is floating around Facebook this week, it's revealed that she went to the parents of Jon, a junior, and asked them if she could take their son to prom. She chose this way because Jon is autistic. “He’s a junior,” she explained to Jon's mom. “So it’s his prom too. I just think he should have the chance to go.”
Cue the tears. Apparently the two met through a group that pairs teens with special needs with kids like Maddie and she took a special liking to Jon. What a moving story.
It's not that prom is really such a huge thing. I mean, it is. For many kids, it's the pinnacle of the high school experience. But it's also that a 17-year-old girl spent so much time thinking about a 16-year-old boy who she could have just as easily been mean to or cruel toward.
Apparently she spent a lot of time learning about Jon -- his favorite color so she could get an orange dress; his favorite food so they could go to a restaurant that served it.
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They went with a group just like any other couple and they probably had fun just like any other couple.
When I was a teen, there weren't groups like this and special needs students were separate and we rarely saw them. This is what made it feel "other" and different. Today's teens do a lot of stupid things, but this is one thing they are getting right.
Every teen should have the opportunity to enjoy typical teen events like prom or homecoming or a football game or dinner with friends. Maddie recognized this and she looked underneath all the labels and saw the person.
It's a heartwarming story and something I am sure both Maddie and Jon (and surely his parents as well) will remember the rest of their lives.
Happy prom to them all!
Does this story move you as well?
Image via Facebook