Monday, April 11, 2011

Camping & Questions... It's All Good!

Good afternoon and welcome back....

It's been more than a few days since I last posted.   Sorry!  It was just one of those times I guess where you hunker down and get through moment by moment.  Thankfully, it really had very little to do with the kids and had more to do with Life getting in the way and under my skin.

But I'm back...

And I swear, Sean is taller than me this morning.

I had been in and out all weekend - trying to camp with Carissa and her Girl Scout troop.  We left on Friday for a destination about 60 miles west of our northwest suburban Chicago home.  Unfortunately, I had already committed to take an extra shift at the park district where I work sometimes on Saturday nights.  Thus, after some fun and games and lunch on Saturday, I hit the road back to Elk Grove.

Sean was relieved to see me.  He always worries when things are off schedule and people are not where they are supposed to be.  It doesn't even have to be something as extreme as camping.  One evening in October he went to a Halloween party/movie night at the home of a fellow Boy Scout less than a mile from the house.  We've been in Boy Scouts for years and have known the family since preschool.  Although this type of event would be a first for Sean and for us as a family,  we were quite comfortable dropping both Sean and Carissa off at the party.

Sean called home about an hour into the party to check on his little sister Ashley.  It was a cute moment on the outside, a sure sign of anxiety on the inside.  We reassured him that all was well and he went on to have a great time.   

Another 'first' conquered.

But, back to camping for a bit....

Some of the moms and I were able to sit around and chat for a few moments.  Our girls will be heading off to junior high next year and a whole new world to navigate.  Us parents will be the ones desperately hanging on to the steering wheel while we travel the winding roads of puberty, adolescence, and (gulp) first loves.

After awhile, they asked me how Sean was doing.  That, eventually, led to talking about autism.

The one mom apologized for asking so many questions.  I told her that I don't really mind.  In fact, I like talking about it.  Mind you, I don't want to eat, sleep and breathe autism.  My life is not entirely autism.  Therefore,  I do not allow my world to be taken over by it.

But I do not mind talking about it at all.  It is by listening and asking questions that you learn.  If I can teach someone the smallest thing about Sean or autism in general, then I I believe... it will lead to a greater understanding of this thing that affects our child and our lives so intimately.

They say understanding leads to compassion.... 

And this world could certainly use a little more of that.

So ask away...  I'm here.

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