Took Xan to the park last week, to let him run around and tire himself out some. For the first time in ... ever ... he didn't want to swing. At all. Passed them right by and ran to the tennis courts, where he and I chased each other around the nets. When we were done with that I figured NOW to the swing-set. Nope. Ran to the jungle gym and slides and spent the rest of our time there alternating between climbing up the slides and going back down and grabbing my hands and spinning us around until he jumped up - for a brief second - and fell down in a heap. I never expected that dissing of the swing.
Maybe it was a one time thing, maybe not. We shall see.
In other ways, he's changing. I can't kiss him anymore when I drop him off at school in the morning. Used to be able to give him a little kiss on the top of the head as I walked off, and then last month or so when I tried to do that he did some kinda fish-out-of-water twist that seemed to move his head around in an Exorcism-like maneuver while keeping his hands still protectively clutched on his food. From that time on, if I attempt to kiss him, he pushes me away in the universal "Jeez, Dad" sentiment.
THAT, I did expect. Surprised it didn't come sooner, honestly, given me being me.
In many other ways, he's still the same. Still likes certain songs, more of my aural bent than Tracy's. Still wont to stay up REALLY late and be a bit cranky when I wake him up in the morning. Still kinda behind on a lot of things, still a genius, still very nonverbal, still loves twirling.
But he's growing up and changing.
Maybe for parents of autistic kids, especially ones who are more obviously autistic than others, growing up can mean different things. With luck, patience and a lot of support, it can mean actual growth and accomplishments - getting them to do more things, better things, independent things. It can mean watching them change physically, getting bigger and stronger and faster, and while taking pride in it (did I subtly mention Xan's already up to my chest, and he's only 10?) also thinking in the back of your mind, that part that catalogs things in a more harsh light, that IF he gets a lot taller and stronger trips to the dentist and doctor may start involving a tranquilizer. And that you really don't want to be caught in his head butts anymore - that small bruise could inflate into a concussion. Many other things, some common across all our differences, many unique to each family and even each child in that family.
Everything changes, nothing stays the same...except for that always-there worry.
DON'T FORGET: Walk for Autism is April 28th at Oxford High Stadium. You can now go walkforautismal.com
to register up yourself or a group, and as always, you can e-mail me at BHRobin at aol.com for more information.