I put Eli to bed the other day and when he woke up he was no longer a little boy. He woke up to being a kid. A tall, lean socially active kid who still loves his dad but hugs and kisses are few and far between. He says things like, “Awesome” and “Wouldn’t it be cool” and “Wicked”. The days when I used to scoop him up and carry him into his room and fling him on his bed are long gone, now if I tried I would probably hurt him and most definitely throw out my back.
I turned off the lights and when the sun came up, he was no longer my little boy. He was a young man: At six!
I have to admit I sit here with a tear in my eye thinking about all the cool things that he has given me, and how soon he will be asking for the keys to the car and for money to take girls on dates. I no longer wonder how he will turn out. The PDD NOS/Aspergers (call it whatever you want) is still in him, but he has better control, although there are times when he is being creative in his own head (stimming) and I want to drop kick him across the room. It is funny, to all the parents out there with a special needs kid, the best way to control the stims is actually through threats of torture. Actually it is more like extra love that they find disgusting. For Eli, I threaten to lick his eyeball, a trait that has been with my family for decades. Eli hates when I lick his eyeball (well I never actually lick the eyeball for fear of hurting him) but the eyelid area…fair game. So when he flails his arms and starts stimming, I chase him down (he laughs), I plop on him and lick his eyelid. Gross I know, but he laughs while he flights his way free then yells at me. Guess what. It stops the stims.
Anyway, I am off subject. Parents, don’t turn off the lights. When you do, your kid goes through this crazy Star Trek time warp and they wake up older, more mature, more distant. I remember when dropping him off at school I used to get a hug and a kiss, now I get a Daaaad….your embarrassing me. Damn lights…I want my kid back.