My kids – your kids – all kids grow every day, no matter how big the leap. That includes forever kids like W. and J. whose developmental age of maybe 5 years old on a good day belies their 18-year old bodies.
Yesterday was not a special day, really. We let the boys sleep late (Mom actually slept late, which was amazing), went to late Mass, and did neglected chores like putting away the Xmas ornaments. We did treat the boys to their favorite “restaurant” (Chipotle, where W. inhaled a wrap before I got to my seat – truly). And we did the usual drive-around errands of the grocery store, a few other stores and the bank where the boys basically tag along with us and practice behaving in lines and in public. We made dinner at home, quite a fabulous one cooked by Dad, folded clothes and readied for the week.
Buried in the ordinary were milestones, and I hold them in front of me to guide me today:
-W. zipped out of church door far ahead of us, got in line and independently shook the priest’s hand, saying “Hi Father.” Without prompting! and without parents to guide him!
– J. painted 2 sides of his favorite craft boxes using side-to-side, “cover up all the white space” strokes and not the stimmy circles he does when he’s simply calming himself.
– W. spent between 4 pm and 8 pm playing 4 different preferred activities – his word cards, puzzles on his iPad, puzzles and iTunes on his computer, and money in his cash register – without a disrobe and without hyper-vigilance on the part of Mom and Dad – so the parents could do other chores around the house. OK, some of his play was stimmy, but it was so delightful not to have to run and chase him all the time to make sure he was behaving appropriately.
– J. independently awoke to the alarm clock and shut it off each day – just like we’ve been practicing for about 3 months. He even proved he is no different than any typical teen, when he hit the snooze bar and promptly went back to bed. 🙂
Growth is about progress, not perfection – about the unending journey to better ourselves, one step at a time – however small. W. and J. are growing, and for that my day is all sunshine today, inside and out. Here’s hoping this Mom can do the same.