Friday, April 22, 2016

When is a Milestone, not a Milestone? When Your Child With Autism Turns 18...kinda empty.

Nick turns 18 sitting out for Duck Pizza and
Dr. Seuss Books!!!

Nick turned 18 today and it was just another birthday.  Not a bad birthday, we had fun and he finally got to eat the Duck Pizza he's been wanting for years!  It was just void of the excitement and rituals that accompany coming of age for typical teens; graduation, prom, ditch day, grad night, college tours, summer jobs, moving out, the ability to join the armed forces without your parents permission, cars and so on.  Yep, all the things we take for granted never happened. And for all my positivity and acceptance, I still feel a loss  of some very special moments this parent imagined.  

As the same time, I wasn't left out of the coming of age rituals altogether. Our ritual consisted of mind boggling legal realities and paperwork because he's a "legal adult" now. I can no longer make decisions for him - without the documents that give me permission, from IEP's to medical authorizations - just because I'm his mom and the one who cares for him. It's a weird moment in so many ways especially since nothing has changed. He's an adult who didn't go through any rituals that said you're an adult now, you're ready to leave the nest, it's time to spread your wings little birdy! Nope, he only added a year, and yes for that I am grateful :)  

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