Friday, December 3, 2010

These are the Good Old Days

Our son is having another pretty good week at school, but home is another story.

The lack of listening, or more accurately, the lack of response that we saw on our Thanksgiving trip is continuing, as is our battles over breakfast. Even worse, Kai seems more obstinate about not doing the things he does not want to do, thus challenging our authority. As he continues to be needy in many ways, this makes for a frustrating combination of seeing him lose his little boy innocence while not seeing a corresponding growth in his independence. It is times like these that really make us wonder about what our son will be like as he gets older.

At the same time, as we get older ourselves, I think we spend more time reminiscing about the past. Over Thanksgiving, at my sister’s house, we recalled Thanksgivings from when my nephews were young kids. They are both in college now, and when they were small, we could not imagine how they would turn out when they grew up.

The same is true for my son now. He is six years old and it is hard enough to imagine what he might be like when in another year or two, let alone when he is 18 or 20 years old.

The fact that he has autism may make it even harder to think of how he will be when he is older. Most parents can pretty safely assume that their youngster will change quite a bit as they grow up. But, my wife and I are not really sure if we’re kidding when we say that Kai will grow up to be a 200 pound version of the still mostly adorable kid he is now. When he is 16, will he still want to sit on our laps and ask for hugs? Will he still be wearing his clothes backwards? Will he still want me to chase him around before taking his supplements?

Yes, we know that he is actually making progress, but he still maintains a lot of his little-boy dependence on Mom and Dad, even as we notice that his body is growing.

Tomorrow, we are having family over for a Hanukkah celebration. I know that years from now, we will look back on these gatherings with fondness. But, I wonder whether it will be with the sweet nostalgia of the good old days before our son grew up to become an independent young man? Or, will it be a bittersweet look at the good old days of the past that did not lead to a brighter future? Either way, on days like today, I need to remind myself that these are the good old days.

“We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway…

“These are the good old days
These are the good old days”
– Carly Simon

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