Today, I am aware again. My youngest, the super hero of my children, who has risen to be a fine young man – proved to me that my parenting skills for my neurologically typical child are not subliminal to the point of failure like I assumed. After all, he is 16, super smart and kind but really, he has not come through this Autism thing with his brother unscathed. Oh, sweet Jesus, not by a long shot.

But today? Today I learned he has some additional values previously unknown to me. Amid the stress and anxiety over the amplified life with his 18 year old brother on the spectrum, he seems to be acquiring more than just life survival skills. Wow, two hours with my youngest and I’m aghast over what I’ve missed about him previously……

Seriously, we simply went shopping for school clothes. Before we went to the mall, my husband and I just came back from picking up tomatoes to make home canned pizza sauce for his brother. He just appeared outside the house. Yes, he wanted to go to breakfast with us this morning. Seriously? It wasn’t even 11:00 and he was up, showered and ready to go?!? Not my youngest son, really?

Dumping off Dad after pancakes, we went to a local department store. The kind of store that sends ads out practically every day with sales and cash back promised for even thinking about shopping there. I wanted to drill down any kind of jeans that would work – so I suggested the swankiest store in our city. Nope, not there. Not now, or ever he said. But, I explained with his body form, like my shoe size, if you can find something that fits and looks good, it does not matter how much it costs. Seriously, I remember having the same jeans size as he does before I had children – like when I was in grade school. (What the hell?!?)

Wow, the conversation commencing about sweat shops, the audacity of paying over $100 for a piece of clothing with that notable name tag, and the rash he developed just driving by Walmart. I can’t reiterate here…..mind blowing. Again, I am a humble mother, reveling in the amazing spirit of one of my children, the super hero of a young man who deals with autism every day.

Thanks Jon. I had fun today – for less than that pair of notable jeans we hauled out a bag of loot to last you into spring. The conversation? Priceless. I love you kiddo, I really do.

So Big Bad World, be warned. You can’t buy off my youngest, this is what I just learned today. Just because I haven’t given him all the attention he was deserving of, he doesn’t resent it. In fact, he has a balanced and healthier view of the world for it , I guess.

Again, Wow! – everyday does provides a lesson, if you listen. ~ Wendy Frye

“I’ve never let my school interfere with my education.” ~ Mark Twain


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