My son is going to turn thirteen very shortly. THIRTEEN!
Birthdays have always been bitter-sweet for us because they were a reminder of how far we still had to go to get him to where he should have been.
While I was reflecting on our journey and his upcoming entry to teen-hood, I though, “exactly how long has it been since we started our journey in biomed?” We started when he was 3 1/2 years old. It’s been nine and half years since we did his first round.
That is a significant portion of his life.
Last week we decided to attend a huge gathering for area home-schoolers to kick off the start of a new school year. They offered parent workshops, meet and greet for new members, and lots of free play for the children of all ages. I was apprehensive to attend, since in the past something like this would never work for my son. Certainly I expected he would not want to go, or if he did, not stay.
It was pouring rain that day. We pulled in and parked the car. I sat for a moment. This was the point of no return. We could leave and no one would know we came. I sighed and voiced that I was a bit unsure about going in and meeting people. My son looked at me and said “no time like the present mom, there won’t be time to think about it if we just get out of the car and go” and he opened the car door. So I followed. I was a bit speechless that this used to be not social child who was encouraging me to get out in the rain and go meet a ton of people.
So out we went! He got the umbrella and held it up for us both as we walked to the building. We filled out our own name tags and looked around. Not really sure what to do so we went to see what children of various ages were doing outside. Some were riding their scooters, others playing ball or climbing the play-set….and in the pouring rain. They were having a lot of fun. My son looks for a moment, and says “I think I’ll go out and see what they are doing“.
I ask him if he’s sure because it’s pouring out. In the past this would be a huge sensory issue. I did not bring dry clothes or a towel either. He hated the feeling of rain on his skin. He looks at me and says “It’s fine mom, I don’t care if I get wet”. I flash him a big smile and off he goes.
I’m speechless as I watch my boy walk in the rain and across the park to meet this large group of children. No hesitation, none at all. He doesn’t even look back.
Confident, unafraid, and without anxiety.
I met a lot of amazing people there, and my son made a lot of friends. He spent the entire day outside playing with a bunch of kids his age. They played tag, a ball game, ran around, just did whatever kids do.
At one point he could not find me and he wanted his water bottle from the car. So he found a mom there the he knew from own small home school group and asked her where I was. She sent me a text and I found my son and got him his water. He was resourceful in having already looked around for me and when he could not find me, he got help from another trusted parent.
I had never intended to stay long that day but we didn’t leave until 6pm! He was having so much fun and he was so happy.
I look back at this day last week and thing….wow, he’s going to be 13 and I think we made it!
Looking at him today you would not believe he was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was little. What social deficits??