Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ok, now...don't get excited

"OK, now...don't get excited."
He said it in such a grown-up way...not in a sing-songy way...or like what I would have expected: reciting a line from a TV show.

I burst into a fit of giggles...and trying to stifle them I exited the kitchen and hunched over in the dining room area out of view.  "Don't get excited?" I laughed. "Don't get excited?"

The day before he had blown me away with a similar comment, so I did my best not to do what I do best...give a great amount of praise for a seemingly small effort or task.

You see, I've been conditioned to be this way since I learned of his autism diagnosis when he was 2.  Celebrate every small step towards recovery, because that's what keeps us going, isn't it?  I mean, when your child can't talk or even point to what he wants....when he screams bloody murder when you don't follow the same path in the grocery store every time you go...when he vomits EVERY time you go ANYWHERE in the car.....when he can't sleep through the night....and ESPECIALLY when you see he is nowhere near the level of his peers in school.....you celebrate the small stuff.  Cuz, let's be honest, the small stuff IS big stuff for us!  Because it took so long to get to that point that so many others take for granted. We can't afford to take anything for granted.  We have to see the good...the positives...just to make it through.

Now that my son is 16, there are very few I can share his progress with.  No matter how much we hate to think about it, the gap between our kids and their peers turns into the Grand Canyon by this point.  Is he getting his driver's license?  Going to prom?  Nope.  But he is emerging as a teenager...and I couldn't be more thrilled!

How many parents do you know that get secretly excited over back-talk?  Over their child copping an attitude?  What about when they have to ground them?  Do they put that in the "baby-book"? 

Ha!  Well, that's me, and I tell you what, I'm proud to say it!  Because that means we overcoming autism!

So, what was I not supposed to get excited over?

He remembered to take his CD dose on his own with no alarm or reminders.

I had made this "mistake" (as it was brought to my attention) yesterday when I saw he had taken a dose on his own:

"Tristen!  You remembered! (gave him a squeeze) Good for you!!!" (insert the extreme enthusiasm only an autism mom can muster)

"Uh, mom....I think you are over-reacting." (said in a very teenager-ish way...you know, monotone with that bit of embarrassment mixed with disgust)

I could have died laughing...glad I didn't.

So, when the moment came again today, I started to gasp....and before realizing what I was doing, he called me on it.....

"Now, don't get excited."

Excited!  Excited??  My whole adult life I have been getting excited over your accomplishments, son!  How do I not?  How do I switch from being that mom to a regular mom?  I don't know if I can do it.  Do I want to do it?  Do I want to become complacent by the mundane things of life and not recognize how superbly awesome you are???  Nope.

I guess I'll have to learn how to be excited on the inside.

Dose on :)