Today is a PED DAY so Michael is home with me. I love it, but am worried, because Michael, if you don’t already know him, needs to be busy and have places to go. He will inevitably take short breaks to do things like say, eat, pee, but then it’s off again on the next adventure. As he’s gotten older, we’ve learned to plan these days together. We usually will go to a park or store in the am, and have a play date in the pm. Some days we’ve done two play dates, one in the am, and one in the pm, but that’s a lot of legwork and gas for the car, so that is a rarity. 🙂 Today we will be going to walk around in his favorite shopping mall in the am, grab an overpriced smoothie (and probably an overpriced latte for Mom), at one of our favorite coffee places. Then, we will walk around some more with Michael saying things like this:
“Mommy, what does that store sell?”
“Can I buy that?” (when we pass a toy store with the lovely stuffed animals displayed in the windows).
Now he has started greeting the cashier when we are paying for things in stores and asking their name. If prompted, he will usually tell them what he is planning to do for the rest of the day. Cute, and he generally gets a good reception. I do too from these outings. A cashier recently told me what a good boy I have, or I get told how helpful he is when he has come grocery shopping with me and is packing up the bags with me.
Michael’s adventures, as he nicknamed them, have become my adventures. I do put my foot down for some time at home when I am tired and/or if I feel he needs a break. The last PED DAY we stayed home and played in the backyard then up at the park on the corner. It was invigorating for both of us. But I have to say these outings with Michael are showing me a new spontaneous way of being in the world. An outing can be something like going to an animal petting zoo at the local shopping center (see below). This is something I haven’t done since I was a child. When we are young, it’s the little things that make life fun and exciting. For him, a trip like this is the equivalent of a fun center, and WAY cheaper for Mom. 🙂 He also loves the library.
Having a child has helped bring back the child-like innocence and curiosity about life that I had pushed far down inside of me. He has changed my whole view of the world, some of it has been hard like living with the challenges autism presents in our lives, but the other side has been refreshing. I have realized that life is fun, an adventure, and that too many of us adults are so busy getting the to do lists done that we lose sight of living in the moment, and doing things with those that are precious to us.
Moms, I challenge you to do the same with your inner child. Get down on the floor and play with your exceptional children when you can, take them on nature walks, to the park, and enjoy the child inside you come alive again. Take time for the important people and other things in your life. Remember, you’re only as old as you feel. Until next time.