Life is not easy. Especially when you are in a family of invisible illnesses and disabilities. It can be serious, funny and downright hard! But we make it. Just like everyone else. We just do it in a different style.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dear Kid Saturday-May 23, 2009

Dear Kid Saturdays at Cutest Kid Ever

I have to admit, I have not been consistent with writing a letter to my kids every Saturday. I guess I tend to tell them everything! That may not sound good, but I learned early to rely on auditory lessons with my kids than text based lessons. Probably you will read more of these than they will, but who knows? One day they may look back and view this blog, and see what Mom was thinking about at this time. So, here is my Dear Kids Saturday note for May 23, 2009.

Dear Son,

This month has been a bit of a whirlwind. We started off with SATs, signed up for summer employment and now, we are studying the MVA driving manual together. If I didn't realize it before, the last 30 days should really convince me that you are growing up. We are talking about your high school graduation next year. We are discussing going to see your biological dad in Georgia for the summer. We are talking about letting you stay in the house for four days by yourself, while we take your younger brother to his dysautonomia support group conference.

Are we really having these conversations?

I don't want to drag out the pictures, but I remember so many stops along the way during these last 16, soon to be 17 years. I remember you as a little boy; withdrawn but yet so adorable. I remember your grandfather and grandmother holding you and saying a prayer over you like you were the chosen one. Their first grandson that neither one would live to see grow up. How they doted on you for those precious three years they had with you.

I remember the inquisitional first Student Support Meeting when I was told you would never finish high school. I never told you that story until you were in high school. Now, you repeat the story every time you get your report card and remind me how wrong even the best intentioned humans can be. I remember teaching you so many things: the meaning of zero, how to hid your fidgety hands, how to stand still when people talked (though rocking was allowed!), how to shake hands firmly while at least glancing at people's eyes; so many subtle little things that make people not believe me when I say you have autism and a speech and language disorder.

I remember the decisions we have made together, you and I. How you have so sweetly become the "little man" of the house. You have your grandfather's gentle spirit in the lean, tall body of your father. The combination is pure joy to my heart. It is like having the best of both people here with me every day.

I realize driving is scary. I know you aren't sure what you want to do for the rest of your life. I know change is hard for you. Even as we speak of next year and its graduation, college visits and four months stay at the DORS campus, I see the tension in your shoulders.

I am not worried. You have made it this far. Farther than anyone in that little elementary school in suburban Queens, NY thought you would go. I know you will succeed.

Guess what, though? It is okay to be a little afraid of the change. I am, too. We will make it.