Baby Steps to Adulthood

Tonight, I had everything prepped for Hummus-Crusted Chicken, went into the fridge to get the hummus, and… no hummus.  How can you salvage that recipe?  Um, you can’t.  I know I bought some on the previous grocery trip, but somewhere along the line, the hummus jumped ship.  So what to do?  I needed to run to the store.

I offered to The Boy the option of staying home, as I have a few times before.  He has always said no, a little afraid of the responsibility, and convinced he isn’t old enough.  But tonight, he was contentedly watching Spongebob videos, and responded that, yes, he would like to stay home, while I took five minutes to run to the store and back.  I reminded him that he could face-time me from his iPad if he needed anything, and I took off.

The whole time, I felt like I had a weight on my chest, but I drove carefully, moved quickly and efficiently into and out of the store, and face-timed him on the way home.  “How ya doin’?”

“Fine.”

“What’re ya doin’?”

“Watching Spongebob.”

“I’m on my way home.”

“OK, Mom.”

“See you in a minute!”

“OK, see you in a minute.”

“Bye!”

“Bye, Mom.”

Movin' On UpAnd a minute later I was home.  “Are you home?” he said when he heard me come in the door.  I responded in the affirmative, told him how proud I was of him for being so mature and responsible, and he was visibly excited and proud of himself.

Will I be taking off by myself to the movies anytime soon?  Hell no.

But this is a proud mama moment for me.  This is a baby step toward adulthood for my little man.

Hot Dogs & The Future

Sometimes people will ask about The Boy’s future.  Will he go to college?  Will he live on his own?  What will he do when he’s an adult?

The crazy thing about autism, is that it is unpredictable.  I have no clue what the future will look like.  Most parents of NT kids can reasonably assume that their child will go to college or trade school, or get work experience once out of high school, and will be able to make a living and live on their own, find a life partner, and maybe give them grandchildren.  We special needs parents either don’t know if any of that will happen, or we know for certain that it won’t.

As The Boy gets older, I get a better idea, but I can’t say for certain, and I definitely don’t want to judge his capability too early, thereby predetermining the outcome – does that make sense?  I want to be as open as I can to all possibilities so that none seems out of reach for The Boy.

One of the ideas that has been percolating ever since we made this major life decision to move to be closer to The Man and my parents has been to start up our own business or nonprofit, which could be a built-in job for The Boy in the future.  We have lots of ideas, but one that started as a joke, and is still a joke (mostly, maybe, hmmm…) has been that The Man and The Boy will operate a hot dog stand at the beach during the summer.  The Man actually has a friend who did it for awhile and made money doing it, too!

So this is The Boy’s Christmas gift to The Man this year:

Hot Dog Stand Ornament

Pretty fitting, don’t you think?