We are all accused of taking things for granted in our lives. So many that I can’t even count. My luck of getting into technology PR in the 90s and getting to work with some interesting and successful clients (instead, of course, I focus on the projects my teams recommended that they didn’t do, or if they were being difficult)…doting parents…the opportunities to try and explore things in my life, like moving all over the USA, going to an out-of-state college, all of these types of things.
But the one I should be paying more closely to is Demetrius’ progress.
I see the boy everyday, and while I can tell you that his speech, attention, communication skills have all gotten better, I just don’t see the leaps and bounds he is making as others do. It takes a relative or friend we haven’t seen in months to realize this. The proverbial anvil hits me on the head then.
One of the not fun things of parenting is the ‘doing of homework’. This has nothing to do with autism, this is just plain ol’ parenting 101 work. The kids who want to, and like to, do their home are few and far between. Most of the time we’ve got to get on their backs and ride them to do it, and then hope it takes and they see the benefits, and develop the discipline, to do it themselves. Obviously, the pain points for EVERYONE are high here, but I suspect we’ve got a bit of a ‘dash of Tabasco’ more with Demetrius being autistic in this particular battle.
The ADHD medicine he takes has made his concentration much better, and as I have written before, his schoolwork improved immediately. Unfortunately, it wears off rather quickly, so by the time we help him with his homework he is less than ideally motivated and medicated, so we don’t see the benefits – we obviously take it for granted and know that the teachers are seeing it.
All of this leads to a statement I received from someone yesterday. It was along the lines of “My God, has he made progress, is he better.”
“When he goes outside to play, he doesn’t just run off and he actually interacts with other kids. And when his Mom makes him sit down, he does the work – and he tries to do it.”
Of course I love hearing this, but here’s the best part. It is July 21st, the middle of summer. He’s out of school and out of the routine that comes with it. And this statement was made. The smile I had yesterday was due to this realization. Of course, again, this has very little to do with me and everything to do with Kim. She keeps him working hard, whether he likes it or not, and does everything she can to make sure he’s on a routine – whether he likes it or not.
So the anvil hitting me over the head (I feel like Wylie Coyote here) is thus two-fold.
First, I should smell the roses a bit more when it comes to watching Demetrius and helping him out. The comments are right – he has made great progress this past year and I am thankful.
Second, how lucky are we to have a Mommy/Wife like Kim? Maybe sometimes she pushes too hard, but she’ll never be accused of not pulling more of the load for this kid. He won’t fall back on her watch. Everything is a little harder with Demetrius, which means she’s got to work a little more, and I don’t remember hearing her complain about this. I’m sure there are some other things during the summer they all would rather be doing, but if they did that, versus work on writing or reading…would friends and family comment about the progress he is making in the middle of the freaking summer? I don’t know, but with Kim, I know we’ll never have to find out.