So it’s been a while. Maybe even more than a while, almost 2 years. All at the same time, it feels like forever, but also feels like no time at all.
In the last few weeks my wife and I have realized we are reaching another milestone with G. He is almost 10, and his growth continues to render us shocked and awed.
This milestone we believe we have reached is: The “Talk”.
This talk isn’t about what you might think 🤔, 🍆 😱 . 🤣 😂. We will shelf that for another day!
It’s actually about discussing with him, that he is: Autistic.
Now, G will NEVER be defined by that word, but it is certainly a part of him.
And a beautiful part, at that. 🧩.
We also recognize how lucky we are to even be concerned with this conversation. Not every autistic gets to experience this at such an early age, if ever at all.
As he moves into 5th grade, his awareness about who he is to himself as well as to others, is likely to reach levels that may impact his ability to make gains with his emotional intelligence. Equipping him with the tools to help understand and combat the potential negative energy heading his way will be a vital part for his mindset.
I know for me, I’m in this weird place, about what place he is currently in. The naivety of a child (especially ours), is almost like a superpower in my opinion. I believe this ability to not catch the nasty little nuances of language (especially the negative) and ridiculous social pressures, allows him to remain steadfast and strong. Like, an Amazing Shield of Autism.
But one day soon, that shield will start to crack. Those nuances will start to leak through, and the stark reality of our world will most likely begin to seep in and have an impact.
I would find the biggest difference between our situation and a neurotypical kiddo is the ability to process these bits and pieces slowly over time, building the ability to cope/adjust. Where as G – MIGHT become flooded, and overwhelmed. Oh, and I intentionally highlighted MIGHT, because although there MIGHT be a greater likelihood, his ability to remain positive and always continue pushing forward is by faaaaarrrrr his greatest asset. I’ve said that many many times before. This kid knows how to work, and this won’t be any different.
We honestly have NO clue how this will go. There isn’t a conversation map to follow (We checked The Parents Handbook, but no luck 🍀). He may not be ready to process it, or maybe he already has, 🤷🏻♂️. He may not even need this talk, or maybe it will define him. We might need the whole night, or maybe a quick chat before football practice (YES, G Man is playing right Guard on the JV team, which makes perfect sense since his father is such a large, tree trunk of a man himself! 😂 🏈 🤩).
The point is, who knows. It’s been two years since we last checked in, and each new hurdle is it’s own. Unique and challenging, but he always finds a way to get over.
And we love.
We will continue to evaluate who we are as his parents, and make sure that he always has the best chance to be whoever HE wants to be.