I didn’t know how to handle the normal thing.

Mr. L playing with friends.

As you know by now, my oldest has autism. With this he has a speech delay, cognitive delays, etc. But this has never stopped him, or me, or our family. It has changed all the things, but often these changes were for the good. Even so, my husband and I work hard for my son Mr. L to strive for independence.

Mr. L’s first therapist.

We want all the things for our son that parents want; we want our child to have friends, birthday parties, holidays, positive school experiences, and into the future a job he likes and relationships he enjoys.

But let’s be real when a normal thing sneaks up on me and it goes WELL and I didn’t see it coming!

Right, the normal thing. The kids next door and the kids across the street knocked on our door and asked if my kids could play across the street in the friend’s backyard with them.

Yep, that’s it.

The neighbors knocked on OUR door and invited ALL three of my kids to play with them across the street.

Mr. L playing with his Aunt Emily at a going away party for him at another therapy preschool.

I said of course! We put coats on, I walked them over, I chatted with the dad who was working in his garage, made sure that he had my number, I walked home by myself…. And then I stood around in my laundry room with my coat on folding clothes because I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Usually when my kids play with neighbor kids outside I work outside. I clean my garage, I mow my lawn, or I clean out my car. Sometimes I play fetch with the dog, ride scooters with the kids or draw with sidewalk chalk. But you get the point. If the kids are outside so am I.

I couldn’t stand outside, and cleaning my garage was also too weird. So I stood right inside my garage door and folded clothes because I don’t have a front window to peer through.

More of Mr. L’s staff who have helped teach him social skills over the years.

This was new territory to navigate.

I couldn’t pretend to not be a helicopter mom in my garage, but I knew the second I took off my coat and sat down on my couch that one of my kids would need something.

So I called my dad and told him the weird milestone my son with autism was crossing and he laughed. But sure enough, when I went to put a pile of clothes away I saw through a window the dad coming back across the street.

The tether Mr. L no longer needs to keep him from running away.

I sat the clothes down and practically flew to my front yard assuming Mr. L was breaking some unwritten, nerotypical, unspoken rule and the others didn’t know how to move forward with him.

But thankfully no 😅 My neighbor was just letting me know that all the kids had left his backyard and were playing in the backyard next to mine, where there was no fence. I was used to this set up and peacefully went back to my mom routine of sweeping my garage and playing fetch with our dog out front.

My autistic son playing supervised by untrained adults with a group of familiar kids was short lived in the grand scheme of things. But it had gone well, the kids felt normal about it, and hopefully I’ll get to that feeling some day too.

Mr. L rocking it with his peers. No longer needing to be separated to keep him safe.

I’m just grateful. I’m grateful my kids were wanted, they were invited, they were included and they had a good time. What more could a special needs momma ask for.

15 comments

  1. This is a big deal, autism moms everywhere know what you are writing about here. Been there and done that, It’s hard not being a helicopter mom when you have a child that has special needs. What a gift it is to have someone invite your child and include them with kindness. Love reading this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How nice! And how good of you to share this moment with those of us who might take such things for granted.
    On a different note, I still find myself experiencing little surges of joy doing simple things like going to church and smiling at other unmasked people in public. It’s been a while since I wasn’t able to do those things, but I don’t think I will ever take them for granted again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is the little things in life that make up the overall joy isn’t it?
      Small steps create progress and simple smiles create happiness ☀️
      Thanks for commenting 😊

      Like

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