It probably slips our minds a lot of times as we watch our children be silly, do dumb things, need to be shown how to do just about everything and so on and so on but make no mistake, they’re growing up in a world that we ourselves have trouble dealing with and we’re adults!
Life is hard enough any which way you slice it but when you consider the age in which we live where technology advances every few months, messages are sent at light speed, we have more ways to communicate then ever before and most of us live in perpetual information overload… our children are living it too, and mastering it!
Let’s not forget the usual stuff that has now gotten much more advanced, and I don’t mean technology. I mean things like bullying and the world providing false images of perfection on every magazine cover and commercial that you see… is there any wonder that you hear about tragic suicides in the news all the time?
That right there is a lot to grow up with but then you throw in something like Autism into the mix and suddenly you feel like you’re in a hockey game where the other team is bigger, faster and has a 5 goal advantage before the game even starts. I’d probably just drop my stick and skate off the ice ranting about how unfair that is and why even bother and so forth…. and I’m an adult.
It’s our job as parents to prepare them for all of that as best we can, to give them the tools, the support and anything they will ever need from us to be able to not just cope with that but to excel… to somehow get 6 goals and win the game anyhow.
I’d like to think that even if we failed and they didn’t win the game, that at least we gave it our best try, our children gave it their best try and we all had fun playing the game no matter the outcome.
Ok, enough with the hockey metaphor but the point is, as you hold their hand and roll your eyes at their silliness… remember that they are the ones going through it, they are the ones that have to take all that you give them and then make it happen. They are the ones with the unfair task ahead of them, you’re task is not easy either but you can’t do it for them.
When I say that I respect those that can that can endure and overcome all insurmountable odds… do you imagine athletes or do you picture our own silly little chocolate faced monsters that refuse to hang their coat up?
I don’t think I could ever explain it but when I think about the life that my son will have, all that he’ll have to overcome, I feel bad, uncertain, scared… plus I respect him for it and all that he’s done thus far. It’s that respect which allows me to look at him differently, more positively, more proudly.
I don’t envy our children, they have quite the interesting future with a lot of uncertainty and challenges ahead of them but if anyone can do it, they can.