“Is my suit ready for tomorrow?”
There was a sense of urgency tainted with a little hesitation that accompanied my son’s question.
It was late. I wasn’t planning to do any more laundry.
He had been thinking this through in his head, rehearsing how the mornings would unfold, likely since the day he learned of this camp.
“You’ll be at the camp all week, so you can wear something else for tomorrow, and I will have that one ready for Tuesday.” There was no lack of guilt in this offering, but I had just emptied his sister’s basket into the washer, and I was weary from the day.
“Okay”, he responded. That was it. No yelling, no throwing things, nothing said about how I was ruining his life. I wondered what he was really thinking.
He has come so far. We have come so far. Just once this past month have I had to restrain him physically. The ten-or-more hold days of the not too distant past now seem unfathomable.
How is it that we have made it to today? Here I sit, outside the high school gym where my eleven-year-old son is just one of the fifteen or so boys participating in a shooting drill at the summer basketball camp. No one looking in would have any idea that less than two years ago, we were not sure we would be able to keep him safely at home any longer.
I have not been quiet in my support of legalization of medical cannabis for autism. After some fierce efforts, things have been quiet for a time. Now, though, the word is that people with autism will indeed be able to legally use medical cannabis as a treatment option. For this, and for so many other things, I am grateful.
A creative, intuitive doctor and a team of in-home therapists have been instrumental in helping our son. He has become better equipped to deal with the small things that to him have been very big things.
There are cheers coming from the gym. The atmosphere is positive, and my son and his brother are very much part of this. When Ethan first asked about doing the camp, I wondered if it might be time. I wondered if it might be time to try something to feed his current passion, something which rather than setting him apart from his peers might actually make him feel like one of them. The high school staff has reached out to me tell me how happy they were to have our son at the camp, and to ask how they could help make him feel more comfortable. That, to me, is our first victory.
He loves basketball. He has been staying up late to watch the NBA finals and his Golden State heroes. Little does he know he is fast becoming one of mine.
This is only the first of eight days here at the high school. For today, though, my son has been part of the group, a member of the team.
I still had some kitchen chores to do last night before I went to bed, so I decided it wouldn’t take that much longer to run one more load of laundry, including Ethan’s favorite t-shirt and the leggings that he likes to wear under his shorts. I could do that for him, for his first day of camp, if that’s what he needed to feel okay. I did, and I just may do it again tonight, so his favorite outfit, and he, will be ready for tomorrow.