And so today, on the brink of a new week, a new phase of my girl’s life and therefore my life, I ask myself, was I wrong to push her this weekend? In my own yearning for her independence, did I push her too far?
You see, my girl has very little concept of time: time of day, time passing, time to go, time it takes to get from point A to point B. It’s all a mystery to her. Sort of. And there’s the rub.
As a special needs girl, she gets a lot, and misses a lot. When typical kids grow, we have an innate knowing about what they can and can’t do at given maturity levels and can encourage them, challenge them accordingly. But with a not so typical kid, that handbook has been completely thrown out the window. Parents are raising kids completely and totally by feel. Isn’t that great?
Actually, I believe it is great. I mean, this girl gets to grow up exactly as she wants to, not based on any societal norms and expectations. It’s tougher for me in some ways because I have to adapt to this new way, but in lots of ways it’s just plain better.
We are way better in tune with what makes us feel good and what doesn’t, what’s too edgy, what’s easy, what brings us joy. Our thinking has been turned on its ear, but in a good way.
So when my girl checks out on the issue of time, I ask myself, can she do more? She can move quickly if she’s motivated just like most of us. And she can check out and let me do everything if she can get away with it, just like most of us.
We tested her this weekend, and she failed. We set the consequences early and she didn’t like the repercussions of dealing with them. She was heartbroken to have missed a super fun event with her friends, and honestly, so was I. But just as with typical kids (what are they, anyway?) sometimes radical experiences are what is takes to get their attention – and create their desire for change.
And change she did. A little bit, at least. She wanted a schedule, and time for a break in the morning. Today it didn’t work so well, but as I told her, this is a process. We are just going to see what works for us and what doesn’t and we will take it from there.
She can do more, be more. It just takes time.