Tag Archives: maturity

Baby Steps

In the midst of the snow-pocalypse down here in Atlanta my kids were out of school most of the week. That left Lan with lots of unstructured time. Anyone with a kid on the spectrum knows that isn’t always a good thing. One of the things we’ve been trying to work on continuously is maturity and age-appropriate behavior.

When the snow fell on the first day, Lan made mention of going outside and making snow angels. He is now fourteen. His older brother (by fifteen months) had no such inclinations. It was a far cry from the last snow three years ago when they both played gleefully outside. This time however, Cam in his teenage sarcastic voice exclaimed, “It looks pretty but snow is wet and cold. I’m not trying to get in it.” Lan held no such reservations. So, I simply waited for the time he would ask, “Can I go play in the snow?”

Interestingly enough, the request never came. Additionally, Lan was a trooper over four days studying biology on the computer test prep site (and making As), reading the James Patterson book assigned to him by his teacher and thoroughly practicing both his instruments without a peep of dissent.

Cam had biology he could read ahead on and math to preview as well. When Lan saw he was not alone in his studies, he appeared less ambivalent about them and did not at ask why?  He had a sincere desire not to get behind in school. Trust me; this is a huge step forward.

Lastly, as hubby and I headed out for date night last night, Lan was perched on the couch ready to enjoy some television time. When I asked what he was going to watch he said, Transformers.  I was intrigued because for once it was the live action movie and not the cartoon show. I’m sure I wasn’t overly confident that he wouldn’t soon turn the channel to Ninja Turtles or something else on the “kids” cable channel but when we returned several hours later he was still on the couch watching the third Transformers movie. The live action movies with real people were actually able to hold his attention.

So, what’s the point?

The point is the things we pray for in regards to our kids, their growth and development won’t necessarily come all at once. Sometimes they come in increments so small we would miss them if we aren’t careful. I certainly didn’t realize it until I was in church this morning and realized that God was slowly answering my prayer!

And to top it off, Lan walked up to one of my friends after church today and said “Hello.” He doesn’t know Keren that well at all. She said, “You have a really friendly child.” I just smiled. She has no idea of how miraculously far he’s come to reach the point of walking up to her, without me and politely speaking.

None of these minor changes seem like a lot to most people, yet I believe small changes in the right direction should be recognized, appreciated and celebrated.

On this Sunday it is one more thing to be grateful for. My “baby” is taking small steps away from childlike things. Now don’t get me wrong, we still have a house full of Legos, Ninja Turtles and other stuff. And I don’t mind that at all. But it’s wonderful to recognize movement toward our goals. Sometimes when it seems nothing at all is changing, things may actually be making a shift in the right direction.

Today I am grateful to God for “baby steps” no matter how small they may be. I am also grateful for revelation to recognize them and not just gloss over things as I am apt to do. Not only is God doing some wonderful things in my baby boy, it appears He is also doing a few good things in me as well. 

“The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way,” Psalms 37:23 NKJV

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps,” Proverbs 16:9 NKJV

[I would have lost heart], unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13 NKJV

Do My Shoes Match?

As Lan is making it along in his first year of high school he is becoming ever so aware of other people’s perceptions. Somewhere along the line he has matured away from the kid who wanted to wear a sweater in the summer and shorts in the winter into someone with a true desire to be “handsome.” His word, not mine!

I find this kind of comical. Teenagers are often very self-aware and insecure about their looks, dress and a number of other things. Lan has for the most part been oblivious to all of this…until now.

He wants his shoes to match his clothes. He has even taken to swiping some of his older brother’s “cooler” clothes. No big deal for most but I am proud of him for his increased awareness of the people and things around him and his at urge to at some extent blend into the “normalcy” that surrounds him.

I have at times often wondered through the years when some major “turning point” would occur. I’ve prayed about certain things and then forgot that I prayed about them having prayed so much for one thing or another.

Progress begins in steps. Lan continues to make gains, some large and some small.  God faithfully answers my prayers, even those long forgotten.

Simple things like dressing himself appropriately and other social cues that were once so foreign to him are steadily creeping into his consciousness.

I still have a long list of things I’d like to see Lan progress in. I will admit dressing appropriately isn’t even in the top twenty. However, I am grateful for this accomplishment even though I almost “missed it,” not realizing he hadn’t asked me or his father for clothes in months! We always picked his clothes out for him but somewhere along the line he began doing it for himself and doing a very good job at that!

Sometimes our minds are so fixated on the “major tasks” we are trying to carry out that we miss those minor milestones along the way. I am grateful for my blessings, truly celebrating all the gains and successes we have had this year. My every prayer has not been answered, but I have hope and faith that God is not done with us yet!

We are blessed beyond measure even as the ASD hovers in the background. I won’t allow “autism” to rob us of our peace or joy. It only serves as a point of reference for where we were to where we are now.

We are blessed in spite of diagnoses, IEPs, and a few social hiccups.

I’m grateful for gains socially, mentally, and even physically this year. Lan is building up both mind and body going with his dad to “la fitness” as he calls it.  This child who was once weak and so uncoordinated is now hanging tough with his dad on the treadmill, elliptical and bench press. I never could have imagined this years ago!

Lan has friends at school who are nice to him. His new school is no longer a source of anxiety. High school has at least been embarked upon even if not fully conquered.

So much to be grateful for!  Too many blessings to count. God is faithful even when I fail. He lifts us up when we are weak. He has provided us with angels here on earth.

Celebrate this season giving thanks for blessings large and small. I am grateful even for those small things that don’t really matter in life.

I’m grateful his shoes actually match!