Tag: mother/son bonding

Classical Mommy, Beard Daddy-See Ourselves Through Our Exceptional Son’s Eyes

 

So the other night at bedtime I was cuddling with Michael, over twelve minute (not five, not ten, but twelve) minute cuddle before I left his room. We were lying side by side and he grabbed me in a hug. Then he said the strangest and cutest thing:

“Mommy, you are a classical Mommy, and Daddy is a beard Daddy.”

Ok Daddy with the beard I got. When he hugs and kisses his Dad he sometimes rubs up against stubbble on Dad’s cheek, but classical Mommy? What did that mean? I asked him.

“It means classical. You help people Mommy. You help Mommies and Daddies and kids with autism.”

My eyes welled up with tears and I hugged him back hard while my own heart soared. He understood what I was trying to do with my coaching and writing.  He understood how I wanted to help people and give back to others what had been given to me; hope, community and belief again in myself as a good parent with a child who simply thinks outside the box and needs special guidance. He would lead me if I let him.

“Will you always help me Mommy?”

“Always buddy.”

“I love you too Mommy. You’re the best Mommy I ever had.”

Then we did our usual ten minute good night kiss (he is ever the lovey dovey one at bedtime) then he asked me where I would be, upstairs on the couch or downstairs working. Most of the time he knows what the answer is.

“Downstairs  working buddy.”

“You’re going to do your blog?”

“Yes, honey.”

We said our good nights and off I went to work while Michael went to bed. As I made my way downstairs to my home office I started thinking about all the changes I’ve been noticing in Michael. He is becoming even more observant about the details of my life and his Dad’s. He is picking up nuances in conversations, (ones he is supposed to overhear and those he is not). Dad and I have to be really careful. And he is becoming a really thoughtful young man in the way he expresses himself and his caring ways towards his friends. We do have to deal with some insensitive  feelings he doesn’t always realize he is displaying, but we understand that it comes with the territory of having  confused social understandings sometimes about people and occasions. We are handling it.

Seeing his displaying this kind of maturity though, knowing his own mind so clearly, whether he is happy or upset, is really inspiring for me. On the days when he and I struggle, I remember how smart and special my little guy is and know that whatever he will do one day in the world it will be an incredible contribution.

Exceptional Parents, how many times have your Exceptional Children amazed you with things they’ve said or come up with? Our children have such a unique view and vision of the world. It’s important we encourage their unique mind and what comes out of it. They will do amazing things and constantly surprise us and the world if we show them how cool we know they are. Until next time.

am a writer and parent coach at “Exceptional Parenting/Exceptional Balance.” I am passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and GooglePlus. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.n

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Exceptional Events And Navigating Feelings

I am one proud Mom today. Actually, with Michael I am one proud Mom every day. But today was one of those moments when I lit up because I saw him all lit up. And I was so happy it all worked out. We had a little fight this morning with Michael challenging me on the whole listening to Mom thing. In the end, he cooperated as I have learned to stay calm and cool. But I did say one thing I regret. I threatened that if he didn’t listen, I wouldn’t come to see him ice skate at the local arena with his class. He had been talking about me coming for weeks. He was so proud. And I was proud of him! The words slipped out of my mouth in a moment of frustration. I saw the fear and worry that I would follow through, and I would have had to if he had not stopped his yelling and controlling behavior. Fortunately for both of us, he listened. And I worried, but figured he had forgotten all about it. Nope. Not my kid. The older he gets, the more he ruminates on things, and obsesses. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Until two years all I did was ruminate and worry about things. Not anymore, but it took time and patience to teach myself these new skills.

Anyway, on to the good things first. So I watched him ice skate, without a support, holding a hockey stick and hitting the puck across the ice. I took ridiculous amounts of video, waved and chatted with Michael’s friends who came over and blew my little guy kisses. The look of quiet pride and utter happiness on his face made my day and the rest of my week. When he came home, he was grinning and happy to see me as usual. But the first words out of his mouth broke my heart:

“Mommy, why did you say you were not going to come and see me skate? I was so worried. Mommy, I dreamed about it all morning on the bus and all afternoon on the bus ride home.”

He carried that fear with him all day. Poor kid. I have to explain to him the difference between dreaming and worrying. I felt so bad. I apologized and told him the truth. I was mad, he wasn’t listening, and I used that to get him to take me seriously. That wasn’t right to use the visit, and I wouldn’t do that again. I did tell him though that he has to listen to me and not question my authority as his parent. He agreed and though this is something he still struggles with, it is getting better.

 

This event got me to realize other times when he has been worried about things and ruminated or continued to think about them, rather obsessively. I always said I need to address it, but then other things came up and I’d forget. It struck me that I was that kind of child, and wished I had learned the techniques I knew now at an earlier age to not have wasted so much time and energy on worrying. It kept me back from so many amazing experiences. There are days I feel like a child again, reliving beautiful feelings that I haven’t felt in years as I was afraid to then. I was always afraid from age twelve on, even sometimes before. I don’t want Michael to go through most of his adult life before he can experience peace inside and the ability of letting go of past hurts or people that hurt him.

Exceptional Parents, what or who do you need to forgive or let go of in order to move on and be joyful? Life is lived moment to moment. It’s important to stay in the present moment and not look back with worry or forward with stress. Do you know strategies to help yourself if you are a worrier? I can tell you, I never thought I would change my mindset, but it’s not that difficult or impossible. It just takes small changes made every day in little increments. Then you will be that child skating on the ice for the first time with quiet joy or that adult that learns how to be more patient the next time and honestly can express it without berating themselves. Don’t be afraid to venture into the unknown. Until next time.