Saturday, April 26, 2014

Autism Answer: Ode to Stinky Feet and Farts!

I have four sons and as they each took their turns hitting puberty, along with their powerfully potent friends, you could very often hear me laughingly complaining,"Good grief! Everything smells like stinky feet and farts!"

And when I offered friends a ride in my car it was forever with the warning,"As long as you can handle the smell of stinky feet and farts. The odor has taken hold of everything I own and refuses to let go!"

Just as one son and his smelly posse learned the art of adolescent hygiene and gut health, another one of my boys would be inviting his buddies over to stink up the place.

For years and years I was surrounded by unpleasant body odors and adorably pathetic attempts to perfume it away.

But today when I walk in the house, or get in my car, or open a door to check on the kids, there is no longer the smell of stinky feet and farts waiting to greet me. I can no longer wrap myself in the smell of small boys becoming men. Because today my boys are already mostly men, and there are no small boys to teach and tease playfully.

Oh, life is still filled with scarily important teaching. No one is ever done learning, and my boys are only barely men. My youngest is not quite fourteen, newly out of the stinky feet and farts phase, but small boys they are not.

And though it's kind of nice to take in a deep breath of clean air with a light lovely aroma--a touch of coffee and a smidgen of popcorn--it would please me greatly to have a day pass into the past, and to once again tease and teach my boys a skill from the old days. A skill that today we take for granted and mostly forget to appreciate--which is right of course. It would be inappropriate to slap them on the back with pride every time they wipe their own butts, or to congratulate them on learning to wear clothes in public.

But it's also right to remember and appreciate the years of forward motion and lessons learned. Because no matter where we are in our lives there is some form of stinky feet and farts that we're living in, and remembering gives us the patience and confidence to believe that one day the changing winds will sweep the odor away, leaving only the memory of how we handled it.

My suggestion to you: Enjoy the stinky feet and farts while you have them, but continue to teach and know that one day they will (mostly) be gone. 

And believe it or not, you will kinda miss the once upon a time stink!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!