Thursday, August 28, 2014

My boyz are growing up (and up and up and ....)

Both my boyz are going to be tall.  That has never really been in doubt.  With hubby just under 6'1" and myself at 5'8" and both of the boyz over 9 lbs at birth, we just knew they were going to be big. 

Now Joe has hopefully stopped growing at 6'3" (but maybe not since he went through his growth spurt late) and when I took Alan to the doctor earlier this week he is 5'7".  So within the next year I will be the shortest one in the family.  (I have been the lightest weight for over a year, but that is another story!)

And while their physical growth has been fascinating for mom to watch, it is their emotional maturity that is the subject of today's blog post.

The boyz have both AMAZED me just this past week.

First off, there's Joe.  I took him to the psychiatrist yesterday and he told the doctor that although he frequently had trouble understanding what people meant when they said or did certain things, most of the time I could explain their motivations to him.  Now maybe that doesn't sound like much to the outsider, but that is huge around here. 

Joe is one stubborn kid.  He is always convinced he is right even when you clearly prove him wrong.  As the parent from whom he inherited most of his stubbornness, I can vouch for this!  We usually butt heads on almost every topic under the sun.  DH is forever telling me to "stop arguing with him!"  Most of the time the truth is subjective so neither of us is necessarily right or wrong but when the truth is pretty obvious, I admit to digging in my heals.  I am usually better at interpreting behavior from body language or circumstances than Joe but to have him acknowledge that fact unprompted was hugely gratifying.  I think most of us have a hard time expressing when we are wrong or deficient in some way, but it does help us grow.

He also continues to do well in his job and likes it!!  He also started work again at the weekend camp and was remarkably dedicated about getting all his paperwork submitted for re-employment.  Proud momma moment here!  He is trying to save money to buy one of our cars so he has stopped going out to lunch every day he can.  This is also rather mature of him.  I'm thinking we can release guardianship for him very soon which makes me incredibly happy.

And then there is Alan.

"Wow" doesn't begin to cover it.  He has been back in school almost three weeks and he hasn't had one "bad" day at school.  There have been "incidents" that they've reported (he didn't want to participate in PE but eventually complied, he couldn't get a soda when out in the community and was very disappointed but dealt with it, I forgot to pack a snack one day and the only things they had available didn't appeal to him, etc.) but nothing major.  They have even told me repeatedly that he is a "role model" for other students.  DH read the note that came home yesterday and said, "Does he have an identical twin around here that you've been hiding from me?"

And at home, he has been good too.

He doesn't have many chores around the house mainly because it is too hard to teach them to him.  But we've been trying to come up with more.  We have been having him take the kitchen trash out to the garbage after we tie up the bag but we always had to tell him to do this.  Then last week I left a bag out (both boyz were in different areas of the house) and Alan came into the kitchen first and took the bag out to the garbage without being asked.  The other thing we have been having him do is sweep the floor after he is done eating -- especially when he has popcorn and leaves little bits all over the floor -- but it has always been a struggle with lots of vocalizations on his part.  This morning he finished breakfast and went out to get the broom without being asked

Who is this kid?  Did I have twins and not realize it?

While this is a lot more of a bragging post than I typically write, I did want to let other parents know that it DOES get better.  Joe grew up a lot during high school but he continues to grow now as a young adult.  Alan is just starting to go through the high school maturity and it gives me so much hope.  I still know that he will never be able to live independently and that saddens me.  But when you spend so much of your life in fear of what will happen when your autistic, minimally verbal, occasionally violent child is bigger and stronger than you, it is very nice to know that he might not have to go into an institution but can at least stay here with us.

My little boyz are growing up.  What will I write about now?  I guess my minis ...

12 comments:

  1. What a beautiful, encouraging, heart warming post. You have two wonderful young men there and they owe it all to God and you and your husbands dedication and love. I was always worried about Zeke and then he began to mellow and mature too. He still has angry outburst at times but they are rare and they are over with quickly. We are all so very blessed. God be with you all!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that you've had a similar thing happen with Zeke!

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  2. Can't wait to hear about your minis by the way! :)

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  3. This is so encouraging to read for those of us coming up behind. Well done to all of you xx

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    1. Thanks, Looking! That was sort of the point. I remember so well feeling like it could never, would never get any better. But then it did. :-) Thanks for reading!

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  4. How exciting! It must be wonderful to see your children maturing into such wonderful young men!

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  5. Thanks, Nora! It is tremendously gratifying after floundering for so many years! I checked out your blog and decided to follow you as well. Those cupcakes looked yummy! Thanks for reading.

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  6. So happy for you! Your post offers hope for many of us!

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    1. Thanks, Shanti! That was sort of the point! :-)

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  7. Hey Julie! You haven't posted in a long time. I hope you're all okay.

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