Ho Ho ...uh,OH!
Author: Rebecca Knowlden
This past weekend my son, Ty who is 23, and I went to do some Christmas shopping together. This time of year all the stores are packed. Between the Goodwill store, the Dollar store and the mall we were moving through the crowds. We were in the spirit and so were others also shopping, but it's a pretty overwhelming sea of people and it was good to be back home. It’s 18 days to Christmas and the count down is on with lots to do!
In preparation for house guests and parties, Ty said he would help with cleaning of the house; he is such a willing helper, love that about him! Anyway, we began with stripping the beds. In the rush to grab linens I somehow grabbed a king size duvet and sheets for his queen-sized bed. But we were in a hurry, and since it was his bed and no guests were using his room, I figured it would be fine for a couple weeks…at least until the next time he changed his bed linens.
However, I quickly got a reminder about one of those things that makes Ty, Ty. Like many people with autism, he was not going to just be ‘OK’ with this seemingly small issue. In his younger years things such as this would be something that was really hard to handle. As he has grown and matured, he has learned strategies to handle things that are difficult or “out of place”. He has learned to be flexible!
But today was a stretch, to say the least. He kept pointing to the sheets sloppily hanging over the side of the bed, then would say, “Really Mom??” They are just too big, it won’t be right!”
But we had other work to do, so I pleaded with him to “just let it go.” I tucked in the corners in an effort to pick up the overhang off the floor and said, “it looks fine, it will be okay”. He could hardly believe that I wanted him to leave it alone.
He has an eye for detail and a conviction to make things ‘right’. Sometimes that strength manifests itself in frustrating ways, like when making beds, but we have helped him channel that strength in productive ways as well.
In the end, we quickly pushed through this little ‘linen episode’, which not so long ago would have been a big deal…but they do grow up and learn to deal with things better…and so do we! We learn as parents when to push and when to let up…If we are paying attention we will help them stretch and grow!
Enjoy your time over the Christmas holiday; enjoy your family and the new things you are working on. It means you are moving forward!
Have a wonderful holiday season…I’ll be back with a new blog in January 2012!