As any parent will tell you, time flies. My son just turned 10, which means he is now that much closer to being a teenager. When he was 9 years and 364 days old it still seemed far far away. There is something about the number 10 that puts the whole growing concept in perspective.
He’s no longer a kid. Well, he is… but the teenage years are closer now, which means I also need a different perspective.
As an Autism Dad of a son it’s challenging. I know Moms have challenges also but this is only from a Dad’s perspective since I won’t pretend to relate to how a Mom thinks.
Autism is a challenge that I never dreamed of but you learn to do the best you can. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I fail miserably. And sometimes I exceed all my expectations and learn more than I ever thought possible. Autism is not just a diagnosis but also a teacher. It has taught me patience, understanding of others and so much more.
However, today I need to remember and incorporate a quote almost every parent has heard.
“Boys will be Boys.”
Autism is a 24/7 challenge but all kids (with or without autism) at 10 years old are now starting to grow into their teenage years. Last week there was a “playground incident” and when I found out what happened it was simply two boys frustrating each other. Nothing major happened and I really don’t think Autism played much of a role in the “incident.” When he was 9 I may have been more defensive, but let’s be real.
Kids play together. Kids push each other. Kids tease each other. Kids make up fast.
“Boys will be Boys.”
I have to remember this. We live in a world where people cry disability, religion or race way too often when all the situation really is about is two people having a moment the same way we all did as kids. Thirty seconds later they have forgotten about it; so should we.
In a strange way, these incidents also make me proud that my son continues to interact and learn with typical children. I may not be here forever with him but even if I am, lessons learned from your peers are often just as strong (or stronger) than what parents tell you.
Let’s not forget we were all kids once upon a time.