Friday, August 5, 2011

A Mother's Wish

Day 5 – It’s the end of what has been a very long day. 

I told Sean that I would have to push him hard until 5pm and then he’d have some free time.  All day we hiked from one part of camp to another and then back again and yet completed only three of the six merit badges he’s working on.

Disappointing?  You might think so.

I could be the Type A personality mom and throw a fit about the lack of progress today but really, who am I kidding?  It’s been a heck of week weather-wise and some of the badges have been fairly involved.  Last year Sean only completed four so if he does six, then that’s a 50% improvement (Sean figured that out…not me!).

Being the taskmaster today was not fun for me.  I hated nagging and pushing him like that.  But then again, the main objective of this week is to work on merit badges and have some fun along the way doing cool camp-type things.

Tonight Sean wanted to play capture the flag instead of going down to the Aquatics area and joining in a pirate-themed gladiator type fight in the water.

I objected because he can play capture the flag any Monday night with his troop during their weekly meetings.  How often do you get to play pirate and push people off of rafts? 

I insisted on going down to the water and at least giving it a chance.  Spectators on the dock were allowed to throw water-logged balls and sponges at the gladiators out on the lake.  At first Sean resisted but then he got into it.  He was a little frustrated about having to wait until the gladiators stood up on the rafts but I didn’t think it was cause to walk away from the game.

Until Sean slipped on the dock and almost fell in.

Being the mom, I grabbed him by the arm to prevent him from falling completely into the drink (said in my best pirate voice!).

Mind you, if he had actually fallen in it would have been no big deal.  But it was the instinct in me that made me grab for my son.

My son… my wonderful, lovely son… did not take it quite so altruistically.

He was perturbed – big time.  He threw my arm off of his and asked me why I had done that.

It was incredibly rude and disrespectful of him to do that to me – his own mom – as well as to do it in front of others.

I had hit my breaking point.  After so many days of 24/7 togetherness, I had finally had enough with the OK’s, the What’s, and the Yea’s.  I had enough of the Rub Me’s…   I was fuming and all I could muster was a pointed finger towards the sand.  I muttered “Beach, now” through clenched teeth.

While we were walking out I asked him why he felt he had to be such a jerk to me, why he had to treat me that way.

He said he didn’t know.

I know it’s only his autism doing this.  I know that part of him can’t help it.

But gosh, I wish sometimes he could.

I wish sometimes that he could answer me without sounding annoyed or like I was bothering him.

I wish sometimes that when I put my hand on him or my arm around him that he wouldn’t shove it aside.

I wish for a lot of things but I will never wish for Sean not to be autistic because it would change who he is.

I like who he is.  He’s my son and I could not love him more.

And I celebrate the fact that he’s this unique, wonderful kid.

If it’s autism that makes him like this then hey, that’s fine.

But I do not have to like all the crap that comes with it.

And that’s the stuff that I will never stop wishing away.

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