Declyn: I can't wait to go to my high school reunion.
Me: Dude, you haven't even graduated yet. Slow down!
Declyn: I know but it's going to be so fun seeing my friends and showing off how successful we are. I'll have cool clothes and a nice house. I'll probably be famous.
Me: (trying not to sound too "parent-y") You know that none of the things you just mentioned equal success, right?
Declyn: (trying not to sound too condescending) Of course. I know that and you know that, but society doesn't. I'm not going to ignore my idea of success, I'm going to go after all the things I want to do and I'm passionate about. I just know that it's the cool clothes and nice house and fame most people are going to notice.
Me: Okay, sure, but you can't focus on what society wants from you. That's not healthy. Anyway, maybe society will shift by then. Maybe....
Declyn: (laughing) Not gonna happen! And I can't pretend society's idea of success isn't important. It is! The way I get treated and the way my family gets treated will be affected by it. So, I'm going to care mostly about my idea of success but I'm not going to pretend not to care about theirs.
Me: You're almost too smart for your own good, kiddo!
Declyn: It's probably because of the autism. Probably because of all those years trying to figure myself and the world out. Everything seems to be falling into place right now. I know it'll get confusing and hard again while I try to make all my dreams happen, but I also know I can do it. Mostly because of the autism. Now, don't say anything else. I don't want to talk about important stuff anymore.
Having teenagers is the craziest, scariest, wildest ride! They are people you love so darn much you'd do anything to make them happy, strong, popular, adored, healthy, rich, proud, humble, etc, etc, etc. And yet they remind you over and over and over again, it's all up to them.
You can't do it for them.
And although most days it feels like they may not be able to do it, like they're focusing on all the wrong things and trying too hard to please a group of teenager friends who are also focusing on all the wrong things, there are moments like this. Moments where they show you that they have a handle on this whole actively and purposefully maturing thing.
My sons are amazing!!
Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)
|My darling Declyn. www.fourbrothersoneworld.com|