I wrote about how I one day picked up Sean’s shoes and discovered a normal double knot instead of knot after knot until the laces were at their very ends.
I was surprised, shocked, at how this seemingly normal habit had crept into our lives without me noticing.
A year later that “normal” has disappeared and once again we are back to one of the unique aspects that comprises my wonderful son, Sean.
I used to untie his shoes on a regular basis so he could practice tying them. He has fine motor difficulties and it took him years…and finally his occupational therapist…to ultimately achieve independence from Velcro closures.
Once he learned, he never wanted to do it again and thus would tie his laces into a plethora of knots in order for them to never come undone…ever.
That is, until I would sit one morning with time on my hands and ruin whatever fingernails I had trying to undo my son’s minor obsession.
I’m not sure when the knotting began occurring again. There have been bigger issues to deal with… more important fights to fight.
There always are, aren’t there?
So let him knot away. Have at it. His new shoes have already begun their journey with Sean’s fidgety fingers leading the way.
As for other battles that I can think over the last year….
Remember the liquid soap? Kryptonite. Absolute Kryptonite.
I gave up that battle as well. Is it worth torturing my kid so he can fit in with society’s bathroom norms?
I’ve tried different things over the year. One was to simply drag him into the bathroom every day and try to de-sensitize him.
Sometimes I wondered if we treated our prisoners better than I was treating my own son.
Thus, I gave up. I shouldn’t say forever but for now, I have other things on my plate.
Sean’s currently taking a “Life Skills” class… think “Home Ec” for us oldies. He asked for a bar of soap to take to school so he could wash his hands in class.
Wow…. solid thinking there. Independence.
I was impressed.
Of course, I tried to convince him to just suck it up (ok… I’m not mom of the year here…) but he said no and I respected his wishes.
I did notice that he had used it. A win for not only Sean but for any mother of a teenage boy!
I look at him now, on the verge of graduating from 8th grade, and I get anxious about his future. How will he do in high school? Will he find friends? What life skills will he be lacking along the way?
I can only anticipate the battles and worry so much.
And I’m tired. Always so tired.
Thus, I will let Sean tie his shoes in whatever manner he pleases. I will let him wage war against the liquid soap industry. And I will try to guide him and support him, teach him, throughout his life.
But it’s time to start letting go and giving him the lead.
He did, after all, come up with the idea of taking a bar of soap to school for his class all on his own.
It was something so normal, so independent, surely a sign of him growing up.
Just like when I picked up those shoes a year ago and looked at the “typical” double knots, when, Dear World, did that happen?