Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Puberty?! Nooooooooooooooooooooo.

Merriam-Webster defines puberty as:  the condition of being or the period of becoming first capable of reproducing sexually marked by maturing of the genital organs, development of secondary sex characteristics, and in the human and in higher primates by the first occurrence of menstruation in the female.

My own personal definition:  Hell.  A hell that I am just not ready for.  At least not yet.

My son will be 11 in August so I didn't expect this to be starting now.  I know he's at the age where this stuff just naturally happens to some boys, but it's hard to imagine it happening to my child.  There are so many ways that he seems so much younger to me but he's not.   Autism has stunted his emotional growth but not his physical one.  He is a large boy, already wearing some men's size clothing and looks like he could be a teenager but he's not.
Puberty is scary and confusing and sad and just damn overwhelming.  And I'm just talking about the ways that it makes me feel.

I'm guessing that puberty for a mostly non-verbal boy is a whole hell of a lot more confusing than how it would be for someone who can verbalize the questions he's bound to have. Since he can't ask I've been talking to him about some of the things that I know he's going to be going through.

As of now the signs that this is definitely on the way are more emotional than physical.  His moods fluctuate worse than mine at the height of PMS.  He's become very interested in being alone at times and will retreat to his room just to hang out and watch TV by himself.  He has shown a heightened interest in girls of all ages.  He's always loved the ladies but I've noticed him staring at them while we're out in public and picking random women to smile and sometimes flirt with.

When the signs of puberty become more physical and out of the scope of what I know much about, I will let his dad step in and do his best to explain all of those things.  I don't think I'd be able to to talk to him about that kind of stuff without as much knowledge as his dad has.  Talking about wet dreams and uncontrollable erections that are to come?  Um.. no.  I'd rather not.  Just writing about them now made me tummy lurch a bit.

I'm probably coming across as naive in thinking that this just can't be happening to my boy yet and maybe I am, but it still just seems so soon.  I know and accept he's not a baby despite the fact that he is MY baby.  It doesn't matter if I am not ready for this; he probably isn't either.  At least not yet.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Short and sweet Nick story.

My child and his level of intelligence and empathy are things about him that often impress me, but the story I am about to share took me aback and made me really appreciate those qualities he has.

Some back story here first:  My son was very close to my mom and he spent a great deal of time at her house from the time he was born until she passed when he was 6.  She had made me promise not to bring him around her when she was really sick and out of it due to being overly medicated and I didn't.  The last time he went with me to her house was the week before she passed and she was having a relatively good day.  We didn't stay long and he hasn't been back to where she lived since then.

Nick is obsessed with Google Earth and has been using it to navigate all over our immediate area.  He likes to show me where the restaurants and grocery stores he likes to go to are and will continuously point them out to me until I take him to those places.   He can make his way through that app much better than I can and often finds places that I've never been to. 

Today he was using it on my phone and I noticed he was on the street that is close to where my mom lived but I didn't really think much about it.  I did wonder how he knew how to get there from where we live because it's not a straight shot at all.  Next thing I know his Daddy is standing behind him looking at where he ended up with a surprised look on his face.  He had found his way to her house and what was on the screen was a Google Earth shot of the gate in front of the complex where my mom lived.

It's been over four years since she passed and the last time he went over there and yet he found it going by memory and looking at landmarks along the way as a guide to how to get there.  I teared up when I saw the picture on his phone and told him I was so impressed he found it.  I asked him who used to live there and he said, "Na", his word for my mom. More tears.  He saw my reaction and reached out and gave me a rub on my cheek and blew me a kiss.  He has a memory like an elephant so perhaps I shouldn't have been all too surprised but I was.

I still have goosebumps thinking of it.  My brilliant boy.