So, it's been kind of nuts since my last post. Never mind the fact that I am training like a maniac for this, now have a kindergartner AND a preschooler, and am STILL calling my kid-who-moved-three-states-away to the table for dinner just about every night, I just (insanely?) accepted an offer to co-chair on the board of our state's annual autism fundraising walk.
WHO ARE THESE MANIACS WHO ARE UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT I AM A RESPONSIBLE ADULT?
I mean, really. Most days I am doing VERY well just to remember to brush my teeth AND shave my legs. Personal hygiene is the first to go on the way to loss of sanity, I hear.
I also decided to start studying for a pretty-big-deal designation for work, which may or may not go well. My kids are slowly stealing my brain cells, one by one, so who knows if I'll have any left come test-time. The good news is that my kids seem to be absorbing said brain cells, and those fickle bastards seem to be working better for them than they did for me.
Tonight big C had his first kindergarten homework assignment. I'm a little conflicted about this, as A) They have the rest of their school-aged lives for homework, why start in KINDERGARTEN? and B) They have the rest of their school-aged lives for homework, can't I have ONE MORE YEAR OF PEACE, PLEASE?
But still, my big boy ROCKS at homework. Too much so, really. I go back and forth on big C's abilities - maybe I'm just being that crazy mom who's convinced her kid's a genius and the teacher secretly HATES getting notes from. Or maybe he's REALLY going to be gifted, in which case I worry myself silly that he won't be stimulated enough when the teacher is sending home assignments like "Learning Upper Vs. Lower Case Letters A, B and C," (accomplished at 19 months) "Recognizing and Writing My Written Name," (21 and 26 months) and "Writing a Simple Sentence" (32 months).
The kicker was the second part of his homework assignment - having Mom or Dad read a book to him for 10-15 minutes before bedtime. This was just to get them into the routine of reading, the homework guide assured me. Good habits start early.
Riiiiiight. Come bedtime, Big C picked up one book (a tongue twister by Dr. Seuss) and little C picked up another (Cars 2, written for 6-7 year olds) and they BOTH started reading. TO ME.
Um, am I not supposed to be the smart one here? Being an adult, and all? Shouldn't they need me for something?
There are many sucky things about autism. Every time Big C panics at the mere THOUGHT of flushing the toilet at his grandparents, and every time Little C wails in helpless confusion at an unexpected schedule change, or walks around hoarding toys like he'll never see them again, I can't help but feel defeated. No matter how hard we work, it always feels as if I'm doing SOMETHING wrong.
But tonight, hearing both of my boys read to me--it was magic. I could see the pride in their eyes, and caught a tiny glimpse of the men in training that they are. They were so confident, so at ease with themselves, that it was all I could do to blink away tears.
My babies have their weaknesses, but they also have their strengths, and it's my job to help them with the first and be damned proud of them for second.
If I accomplish nothing more than that, I think we're in pretty good shape, no?