Independence
by BrianRobinson
 Kaleidoscopic
Mar 22, 2012 | 2140 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
     I went to a school reorganization meeting this week, and before it started I talked to a few teachers.  One gave me enough encouragement that I am probably going to enter my first 5K, and I'm telling all of you this so as to shame me into going through with it.  I hope my vomiting and cramps make you smile.  But not more than my jokes in these posts.

     The other one was my son's teacher, and what she asked me sent me into a light depression that ended up with me posting a Facebook update that had several friends sending me carefully worded e-mails checking on my mental status. 

      And it wasn't what you're probably thinking.

      She asked me what I saw Xan doing as a job, and I froze.  Locked up.  I had no idea.  My immediate thought was a traffic jam as I tried to think of a job that his nonverbalness wouldn't be a problem for.  And I was stuck.

     The teacher handled it beautifully, taking a beat and telling me that she felt he had a real aptitude for computers and programming.  Which is totally true.  But I didn't think of it and she did.  She also politely reiterated that perhaps I was a little too protective of him and perhaps wasn't helping him.

     With that tied into my not being able to think of a job for him...it was a bad feeling.  I wallowed in it for some time.  Still in it a little.

     I've talked about how I know I can be a little too careful.  I'm scared of him getting hurt, getting lost...too many things.  I told the teacher there was no way I could do what I call 'all-or-nothing' stuff, like dropping him off and not making sure he went in the school.  If he bolted and no one saw him...

     But there is stuff I could do.  She recommended letting him ride the bus, and she said that if I let him do that she really felt he would start talking about his day.

     We haven't had a real conversation with Xan ever, a real give-and-take.  We don't get to hear what he did during the day, he doesn't tell what he really wants, likes or dislikes.  Don't know what he dreamed last night, who his favorite character on TV is.  It's REALLY not good to wonder if I've actually made it less possible for him to talk to us.

     And what if my being careful - to be nice to myself - is holding him back?  Have I traded keeping him safe for keeping him dependent?  Am I the perfect example of the most extreme helicopter parent ever?

     Yeah.  See why I posted that update?  (which, by the way, a quote from one of the best bands ever, the Drive-By Truckers.  Also, try Lucero - the owner of CD Cellar recommended them, and they are great.)  (Hey, this post can't all be down, can it?)

    I have a lot to think about.

    Remember, the Walk for Autism is April 28th.  We have some gift certificates to auction off, from Think Toys and CD Cellar.   You can also sign up online as well now...E-mail me at BHRobin at aol.com for more info.
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