Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dragging My Feet?

I went walking with the kids yesterday. A big long, fat walk. We were gone for about two and a half hours. Our goal upon setting out was timing how long it took for Robert to walk home from school, and if the walkie-talkies could make the distance. Could I hear him on the walkie-talkie if I was at home or work or driving, and he was at the school?

I don't have a complete answer to that yet, but I do know
that it took him a tad over a half hour to walk it. (We walked other places after that.) It's a little long, but he expressed interest in wanting to walk home instead of waiting for me to pick him up after school. I get off work *after* he gets off school.

I would feel more comfortable after at least one more test run. I want to stay home while he walks there, and I check in with him on the walkie-talkie as he goes, and then I meet him at the parking lot and drive him home. If I did that,  AND I was still able to keep in contact with him, AND he didn't get too distracted on the way home, I'd probably cave in and let him do it. After talking with Paul, of course. And after making him a key to the apartment for him to wear on a chain around his neck.

Little dude's growing up, and I need to place more trust in him and give him more responsibility to facilitate that growing up. It would be much more within my comfort zone if he just started emptying the dishwasher, or something, but he would take this so much more seriously and feel so much more pride in it.

But it's such a long walk.

The only relief in my worry is that, most likely, I can start getting off work earlier on the days I'd be picking him up from school, and I'd probably meet him on the way home. He's just sticking to one street, so I'll drive down that and see if I can see him (or contact him on the walkie-talkies) and then he actually won't be walking home that long. And then we can pick up his sister from her school together.

He seems pretty confident in his ability to do this. And I don't want to diminish that confidence -- something he hasn't shown a lot of in the past few years -- by asking him pointed questions like: Are you sure you won't be scared walking all by yourself? Or get lonely? What if our walkie/talkies don't work? Or what if we forget them one day? And you needed me? What would you do then? 

And what about stranger danger? Oh my gosh. I hadn't brought that up before. I mean I have, but not for years. Time for a brush-up.

Big Deep Breath.


I really think that he'll do fine with this. I really do. I just ... have some baggage about him that causes a whole host of worry. He's extremely high-functioning on his PDD-NOS (autistic) label, so I *know* he's capable of doing this. But he can still be impulsive and oblivious to consequences of his behavior and choices. And that's scary. That's life altering. That's potentially life-ending. So. You see my worry.


He'll be ok is my new mantra, and one that many mothers have said repeatedly, with their eyes squeezed shut, when it was time for their babies to take a next step.


the mantra should be,

I'll be ok.

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