The nation is so embroiled in this political mess right now, that I had to be sure to preface my latest blog post with that title!!! What inspired me to write today was nothing more than a glass of ice water sitting on my coffee table on a coaster. It was placed there for me by Michael. I didn’t ask for it, but suddenly it appeared there. Sometimes when Michael and I are home together, I yank out my big Stir Crazy popcorn popper and we share a snack. At some point, I get myself a glass of water, but just hadn’t gotten around to that part yet. Michael took care of it for me. Lately, Michael seems to want to take care of a lot of things around the house for us. If we happen to have ice cream pops in the house, he’ll get them for Mike and me after dinner – whether we want them or not. The other night he got them out of the freezer in the garage, opened them up and presented them to us while we were watching Jeopardy. And forget about telling him “No, thank you” – he will insist that we eat them by pushing them to our mouths. Then he’ll come back later to put the little wooden sticks in the garbage. I’ve caught him many times in the garage moving wet clothes from the washer to the dryer – all on his own. Now that may not sound like such a huge accomplishment for a 14 year old who is typical. But for Michael, obviously, to us, this is tremendous. He’s beginning to show a sense of true independence. He actually vacuumed the living room rug for me when I asked him to – I had to teach him how to do it and I could tell he was super proud of himself. He wouldn’t even let me help wrap the cord back up when he was finished – insisted on doing it himself. Sometimes autism just surprises us with things we never expected. We often don’t realize the level of observance Michael exhibits. It’s truly remarkable, especially when it just sneaks up on us like that.
As much as we try to put it off, we are all too aware that the day will come when school is finished for good for Michael. We still really have absolutely no idea what the future will hold for him. I have a very close college friend who visits at the holidays and she noted how much growth he’d made from when she last saw him. I have a strong belief that every single person is put on this earth for a reason. Our hope and prayer is that this growth will continue so that he will truly find the place in the world that I know is waiting for him.