Thursday, August 25, 2011

End of Summer Musings

We have had a fabulous summer. Can I say that again? Fabulous. If only I could really articulate how wonderful it's been. On the surface, you could say my fun with the kids sprang from the fact that this year we were free from the burden of early intervention and outpatient appointments. Yes, we took the summer completely off. Also, the kids are at great ages for doing stuff and doing stuff together. Two summers ago, pre-autism diagnosis and pre-therapy, they were 5 and 1 1/2. We spent a lot of time in our backyard.

So all of that is part of the story, but only a small part. What's been more beautiful is watching Ethan blossom:

- In language, which, while still not at age-level, has become downright conversational
- In play with his sister, which has shot up to new heights (every morning he wants to look for her and wake her up first thing)
- In creativity and originality in play (this is just sprouting up; the earliest signs -- but now I KNOW it's in there)
- In his emotional state, which is more calm with family (he wants to just hang out and "chill" with us) and less anxious with others (he still stresses and this prevents him from interacting for sure, but after time he usually recovers and makes at least small attempts to participate).

So while yes we've enjoyed the zoo and the amusement park and the beach and Maine and Story Land and picking blueberries and all of that, what has been most sweet of all is watching this boy bloom.

This gets my wheels turning. One week to go until school starts. I wonder: why has he done so well away from the place that's supposed to be "helping" him? Is it a coincidence -- was this just his time to make some developmental leaps? Or is school actually hindering him? If so, why? And what can I do to help five days from now, when the stresses and obligations are placed back on him? How can I get his teachers to see the boy I've seen for the past few months?

Beyond that, how can I remember to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, when my joy at the strides he's made threatens to unravel when I see him with typical peers?

How do I keep my eyes not on "curing" my boy but helping him reach his full potential? How do I avoid the pitfalls that will prevent me from being the best parent I can be?

I can't do this on my own. His grace is sufficient for me.

School is all about learning, all right. For parents, for me, it's about learning to let go. Learning to trust. Learning to look up and learning to see with my heart. And remembering, like my son, I still have so very much to learn.

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