Sunday, June 26, 2011

Milestones, Stepping Stones

WASHINGTON - MAY 15:  Police officers from the...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeBetter than morning coffee, a morning email:

"I just had to write because I ran into your son at the Fest tonight and I was stunned at his maturity and social skills. He shook my hand, and my husband’s, said that it was nice to see me and was just so grown up and poised! He was way more polite/mature than the average teen! You must be so proud! You have always been such a good and patient mom and it seems to have paid off!"

It was a big night. Nine months after joining the local law enforcement explorers post, Diver (Elmer? Dude?) was on duty with his post at the local summer fest. It was highlight 2 out of three he'd been anticipating since last fall, and by all signs, it was a rocking success. His week - his summer - was planned around it, and as they day approached, he began preparing; organizing gear, nutrition, sleep, rides. He came home at 2am this morning, having reported for duty at 2pm the previous afternoon. I was already awake. Even though I knew he was with the safest possible group, my old, over-protective auti-mama'ing had kicked in and I lay awake batting away thoughts of worse-case scenarios.

His only comment when he came in (quietly) at 2: "It was amazing. Good night."

The email I copied above is from his first social skills coach, who worked with him twice a week shortly after he was first diagnosed; back when he would rarely get off the couch, when he sometimes would not speak, when he was rarely able to tolerate other people and places; when he could not follow the rules of a game, when his autism ran his life.

He manages beautifully now. For that I a grateful to God and to all the grown-ups who have walked with us to help him on the right path.

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