Everyone who knows Michael knows one thing about him, he is not a homebody. This is a child who is happy with the little things, as long as they involve leaving his house! Michael loves ‘going places’ as he calls it. He loves going to stores where he makes small talk with the sales associates and cashiers, he loves going to parks, and he loves going to friends’ houses. He particularly loves navigating his way there. We have a new nickname for our little man, “the human GPS.” He really is that. I got lost two times last summer going to friends’ houses where I hadn’t been in awhile. Good excuse for getting lost, right? Sure, maybe. But my then seven year old was able to retrace our steps and redirect me.
“No, Mommy! You need to turn left at this street NOT right. Turn around!”
He said all this in an annoyed impatient way, and guess what ladies? He was right! He proudly accepts the human GPS label now. All jokes aside though, there have been moments, not so funny, where his sense of directions can become a little obsessive, like we have to take HIS way home from church or a store or play date. I know it’s about control or Michael’s feeling of lack of control over his surroundings, one of the autism trademarks. He has often told me he can’t wait to drive a car so HE can choose the way to go. I nod and feel my hair going grey at the thought, but I digress. 🙂
One of the wonderful things about being Michael’s Mom though, and the Mom of any children especially those who are exceptional, are that they really make you stop and see the world in a new way. With Michael, he is helping me see every day that life is a journey to be lived, and that it’s important to be excited along the way, not just when we reach our destination. Michael is happy walking to the park and looking at the trees and houses and asking questions. He’ll ask what street we are on, where that lady is going. He is curious about the world, and as a writer, that is what makes me feel alive too. He is reminding me to cherish that side of myself and to encourage it in others. I hope today Moms, that you undertake this kind of journey with your child/dren on a regular basis. You don’t need to go far, only as far as your curiosity will take you. Until next time.