anxiety,  autism,  exercise,  family,  middle school

“Maturing” and these moments now

img_8288Winter has decided to visit Fargo and settle in for a while. Tuesday we had a blizzard watch and while NDSU got out out at 2pm, J and W still had school until the normal release time. The one schedule change for the kids came later that night–J and W were both supposed to have their choir concerts that night but because of weather conditions, all after school activities were cancelled and the concerts were postponed until Thursday later that week.

Surprisingly, J was okay with that.

Lately, J seems to be able to roll with things like everyone else. I’m always asking myself “why” when it comes to J, because I’m either trying to eliminate or replicate behaviour, but this time I couldn’t come up with an answer. Maybe he saw and experienced the blowing snow and frigid wind after school and he saw the logic in the district’s decision. Maybe he’s using coping strategies so quietly and inconspicuously now that I’m just not noticing. Maybe he’s just “maturing.” (I get that comment a lot recently–people tell me how much J is “maturing.” I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I’m not quite sure if you can “grow up” or “grow out” of autism behaviours like neurotypical people can “grow up” or “grow out” of behaviours and habits, but maybe you can? Maybe autism kids “mature” too and their version of behaviours “matures” over time too. I don’t know…)

J rocked the Thursday night concert. It was his first concert singing with the boys (He has “matured” in that way. His voice has finally changed 🙂 ) and he did his best to keep his fidgeting hands still. He had a great group of about three boys surrounding him, and I could read their lips as they mouthed “good job” after every song. There are some pretty awful moments you get to experience parenting a kid with special needs, but you also get some incredible moments too. That night was full of those great moments.

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J singing with the boys this year. I love how he’s come up with folding his arms as a way not to fidget, although near the end of the concert he reverted back to his old ways 🙂

We trucked through the non-routine routine week quite smoothly. Despite the arrival of winter, J managed to run all three days outside with his winter running group. J hasn’t been the most enthusiastic since the beginning. He loves running and loves being with his friends, but there are some aspects that J has problems with. It’s a lot colder. Sometimes you run through quarter mile stretches in ankle deep snow because people haven’t cleared the sidewalks yet. The wind can be killer. But Friday–the coldest day this week, J loved his run. We ran down by the river. It was quiet. There was a light snow and both our gloves and toques were frosted over from our body heat trying to escape. But I didn’t hear one peep of complaint out of him because I think he’s finally settled into the new running routine and conditions. We even had that magical moment when we saw a handful of deer bounce across our path a little ways down into the snow covered reeds and grasses by the river. I would never be out in almost below zero (F) temperatures in the late afternoon running if it weren’t for J. It was another one of those great moments parenting a kid with special needs.

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These two paired up for their house. It was quite the production.
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Costco’s prefabricated houses/just glue the candy on with icing was the best decision so far.

Saturday we squeezed in gingerbread houses after grocery shopping and a church Christmas party. J and W are at that fun age where they still love the tradition while at the same time add their snark and colour to the whole experience. J was even goofy and hardcore at the same time. It’s like Halloween all over again. At 14 he seems to be getting the whole holiday non-routine routine down just fine.

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