Saturday, July 23, 2016

What Should Happen..

My son is coming home tonight from a week-long school trip to Vancouver, B.C. Technically, this was an international trip for him, so I warned him ahead of time not to call or text. But we set up accounts with WhatsApp so that we could - um - communicate.

My son is on the autism spectrum, but more significantly, I am a mother. As a mom, I worry. Did he eat enough? Is he cold? Because some of his pictures on Facebook show snow.. Has he run out of money? Should I be concerned?

The other significant fact is that my son is almost 17. When he was diagnosed at the age of two, I worried that he would never talk. Or read. Or write. Or listen. Or love learning. Or be "normal."

So in spite of all my motherly angst about the sleeping and the layers, I am so very proud of my boy for NOT communicating. How much more normal can you get than a teenager NOT telling his mom what he is doing?!

Recognizing that I am "living the dream" of parents of children with autism, I decided that if he was cold, he was smart enough to wear a hoodie. If he ran out of money, I would have heard about it. He is in the care of gifted teachers and in the company of friends. Thanks to social media, I have seen countless selfies of a smiling adventurer, pictures of whales and mountains and even a banana slug - all proof that he is not merely surviving the trip - but thriving on the trip.

Am I counting the minutes until I can drive to the airport and pick him up? Yes. Will I keep him up all night with questions? Probably. But I am thrilled that he is behaving like a teenager should behave? Oh my goodness, yes. This is exactly what SHOULD happen.