Letting go is hard!

Particularly when being in complete control is my love language!

You see, as much as I hope, pray & dream for my nonverbal, autistic 19-year-old son to be even minimally independent, caring for and managing his every need is all both of us have ever known.

I know he is capable of so much and as I work to ensure he’s given every opportunity to demonstrate his abilities – I can’t help but hover and explain to new therapists, physicians or aids how to best work with him…

And apologize profusely in advance for any challenging behaviors he likely will exhibit – which is an unnecessary but conditioned routine on my part.

However, in reevaluating MY behavior & responses all these years, I recognize that although my actions to protect & support him were well intentioned, I was inadvertently holding him back and limiting his potential.

I need to let him flounder, struggle, grow and learn no matter how long it takes. By doing so, I’m confident he will be prouder of his achievements and successes without feeling obligated to hurry & hit goals in order to please or impress me.

So, despite my anxiety today that while in OT he will pull hair, swipe all of the items off the table (tornado style) in her sensory room or sneak in a forceful slap to her body when she least expects it, I will remain in this waiting room until his session is over.

Giving him the space he needs. The space he deserves.

All too soon, he will be forced to navigate this world without me – on his own terms.

The best preparation I can provide is to continue exposing him to new things, encourage him to keep trying even when it’s hard, validate his feelings and remind him that he makes me proud every moment of every day.

Releasing control & trusting that the world will be kind, patient, understanding and accepting of my precious child – it’s truly one of the hardest parts of parenting.

Until that day comes, when he’s required to continue his journey without me, I’ll work hard to build his confidence and teach him every life lesson I know.

Above all, as George Michael so eloquently said, “I gotta have faith.”