Tuesday night my 14 year old son spent the night at a friend's house for the first time. It was very scary for me...not so much for him. My son has autism...this is a big step for him. He's only really had friends for the past few years and is very, um, well, unadept (is that a word) at navigating the 'friendship waters' so to speak. We have been 'practicing' friendship skills with him by having a few friends over on Friday nights to play video games. This of course is not really interactive play, but parallel play with friends in the same room. Be that as it may...it is the closest thing to friendship he knows. He had a play date arranged at this friend's house and called me at work to say..."Brandon asked me to sleep over." (According to his sister my son called Brandon and said...how bout I just sleep over?) A truly bold step for my boy. Immediately I talked myself through the small panic I was having. I would not be home to adequately 'prep' him...to go through all the social rules he won't observe or be aware of. I'll have about 15 minutes in the car to talk to him on the way to dropping him off and I don't know this family very well. I've only met them a few times. Will they accept my child as he is? Will they reprimand or belittle him? Will they appreciate his differences? Will the boys get along? Will my son have a panic? What if it rains? L-e-t G-o...That's all I could think of...this boy has to grow through the tough times...hopefully this won't be one of them. I dropped him off at Brandon's and had a brief uncomfortable conversation with his Dad..."Uh, yes, thank you for having my son over...he has High Functioning Autism (assuming here the whole world knows what that is) and he's never stayed over at anyone's house before." (I made a conscious decision here to not go through all the 'what ifs') I went on..."If for some reason (of which there could be many-is silently muttered to myself) this doesn't work out, please don't hesitate to call me...say if the boys don't get along, or Brennan feels like he needs to come home, please just have him call me...even if it's in the middle of the night." "Awww, don't worry, we'll be just fine" and off the Dad went back into the house. Uh, ok...I guess this is the part where I get in the car and go home...ok, I'm going now....really, I'm not peeking in the windows and stalking my son and his fragile interactions...I am going....now. I was off. I called to check on him that night, the next morning and the next afternoon. My son said, "I'm having fun...we played ping pong, I lost a tooth, I have most of my stuff packed except my tooth which is on the table." "Ok, my 22 hours of worrying is up...I'm coming to get you." "Ok Mom...see ya" I picked him up and really he wasn't too worse for the wear! He was a bit stressed that there was a disagreement between the parents while he was there, to which he replied..."it didn't really make me feel comfortable or welcome and I was a bit scared, kinda like I am with Dad" (Dad yells, I don't....and he's not really about yelling) I asked what they were fighting about and if they swore and he said no...Brandon's Dad said I could stay over without talking to the Mom and the Mom was mad. Oooohhhh, a mother scorned...been there! I reassured my son that anytime he wants to come home or feels unsafe all he has to do is call me. "I know" he said, "but I really wanted to stay" Yes my love...I know you did. Really, the biggest deal was the parents smoked, which my son said, "sets a bad example for their kids :)", gotta love him! We threw everything in the wash and sent him to the shower when he got home, and that was that. So far...so good!
Onward to the precious one (my baby girl) She has been all set to start Corn detassling any day. The team leader called on Monday to leave a message. She called him back 3 times and he hadn't called back. This morning, precious one's bff called to see why she wasn't there to detassle. WHAT?!?! Because we didn't know it started is why! So...evidently corn detassling is on the agenda for tomorrow. She has to be there at 5:30 and I'm sure a small stroke will ensue if she is late...so I imaging I'll be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow! I really didn't mind that she missed today since it is really hot and humid here...hope she gets through it ok. She's a tough cookie.
The big girl is getting through her lifegaurding classes just fine and plays her first softball game tonight (in the sweltering heat) since the cast removal. I'm super glad she's been swimming this week to rebuild a bit of stamina after the 6 weeks of sitting around. Her hand still hurts when she pitches, so I'm pretty sure that will not be on the agenda. I am a little miffed that it costs me $125 bucks for her to play the last 4 games-- but she wants to finish out the season and who knew she'd break her hand the first week, right?
Finally, weighing heavily on the mother's heart is the thought of my kids moving out. It seems odd to me that a few short moments ago we were overcome with diapers, babyfood, and more baby equipment than I ever thought was possible...now here it is time to look at colleges, ACT prep, driving and the list goes on. I believe serious dating is just around the corner and I surely don't think I'm ready for that. When I see a young couple holding hands or kissing in public I think...what on Earth will I do when that is my daughter or son? At my daughter's age I had already gone through my first heartbreak and was dating a guy I would later become engaged to and move out of state with. I feel TRULY blessed that my daughter has put off the inevitable as long as possible...but I am sure having to come to grips with it (dating) momentarily! She stated to me the other day that she'll be needing a homecoming dress for the dance. Uh...ok, sure. Someone texted her the other night to see if she liked him too. She asked me what to say to him, cuz in fact she doesn't like him. I urged her to use the old tried but true heartbreaking statement, "I like you as a friend." And that was that....She let me know the other day it's 14 weeks until she gets her license. AAARGH!!! Where did the time go? My son starts driving in 8 short months! I must quit now before I work myself into a mommy tizzy!
Until next time...