Friday, June 10, 2016

Autism Answer: A Girl Desperate For A Boy

Often I feel like a girl desperate for a boy. 

Well, for four boys. 

They are busy, they have lives, they are growing up. They don't have the time or the inclination to talk to their mom every moment or to tell her what they're feeling twice a day. 

And though I'm happy that they don't need me, and I'm glad that they're handling their lives, and I love that they like me enough to chat with me often, suggesting new songs, movies, and various other things - I want them to let me know their ideas and feelings almost all the time. 

And so, I approach them with questions. I push them to hang out with me and dig deep into their thoughts, despite their hints that they'd rather talk to their peers. Or they'd rather keep it to themselves, talk it out with themselves. The ones who live far away, I call them. I leave messages with weakly invented "reasons" that I needed to call them. I pretend I'm fine and it's no big deal if they don't call me back. Then I call them back and say, wait, actually there's this other thing too, so can you call me back. I get embarrassed of being annoying and call again to apologize. Then I worry that I'm pushing them away, so I call them to ask. 

In those moments I feel like a girl desperate for a boy. 

And like that girl I'm aware that I need to let go. I'm surrounded by a thick fog of that awareness. But the fog makes it hard to breathe; and I think if only they would tell me one more thing they're thinking or feeling I could find my way out. I could see and breathe just enough, and then I'd put on my big girl pants and do the rest myself. 

But they are busy and aren't always available. And I worry that I've bothered them. And I worry that they are hurt and need me. And I worry that they've misunderstood a social interaction and need me to explain, before they get themselves beat up by an angry person who misunderstood the misunderstanding. And then I worry that I'm a girl desperate for a boy and I need to stop or I'll push them ever farther and farther away. 

Indeed, I am a girl desperate for her boys. I am also a girl in transition, just as they are boys in transition. They need to let me go and navigate this phase of figuring out who they want to be and how they want to live their adult lives. And I need to let them do that without me. 

I should call them and tell them that! tee hee!

Parents: We were always meant to let go. Some of our children may live with us forever but we still have to learn to let go. It's not as simple as it sounds, and for the children that live with us it's almost harder. Letting go when they are right in front of you makes that girl desperate for a boy syndrome harder to beat! But wait, when they're far away it's harder too. Not ever being able to see or touch them can drive you're imagination to insane levels of mischief. So, it's always harder I guess.

Children: We parents are trying. We are, we are, we are. You want us to save you when we can't and you want us to leave you alone when we can't. Not yet, anyway. Go ahead and push us away a little bit. Some of us need you to. Don't be too rough, but be firm. We're learning from you, too. Now more than ever. 

Families: Every time we get through a phase we enter a new one. Let's approach them together, even when that means it's time to be separate. Let's feel and know and understand each other at those precipices. It's intoxicating, exciting, frightening, and important. 

Like a girl desperate for a boy, some of us will get through this transition faster and others will take a little longer. But I promise, we can have fun getting through this, having gathered valuable and delightful and brand new learnings to show off on the other end. 

We'll need them - the brand new learnings and the memories of doing it together even when separate - for whatever the next phase is.

I'm ready to be past this girl desperate for a boy phase. 

I hope the next one is the abundant cups of coffee and books, phase! Oooohhh!! I'm going to call my boys and see if they want to have an abundant cups of coffee and books phase with me! <---- Yup. Still in the girl desperate for a boy phase! giggle!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook) 

A rare moment surrounded by my boys!