As Brian begins to enter the world of puberty we struggle with hormones and emotions and how to explain abstract concepts to a little boy who in some ways is no further along developmentally than a preschooler.
In the mornings we’ve added in the step of using deodorant to help him not be the stinky boy in class. Adding in new steps to a pretty solid routine is tricky. He hasn’t figured out how to apply it himself yet so I help him.
He raises his arm and I prompt him to hold up his shirt so I can roll it into his armpit.
And every single time, tears form in the corners of my eyes.
My little boy is growing up in so many ways and is stagnant in so many other ways.
I think of all the other things that will come along as he continues to age, shaving being a big one. And I think about helping my future teenage son with lathering up his stubble and trying to teach him how to use a sharp instrument on his face while he stims and jumps up and down and cries.
When I look back, I know there has been progress. There has been huge progress from that day when we got our diagnosis of autism. We have crossed milestones that some doctors tried to tell us we wouldn’t cross. Every single day he surprises us or his teachers with some new skill that we thought was locked away.
But the reality is that there are some bridges that we most likely won’t ever cross. And I’ve always known that. But sometimes, something like adding deodorant into our morning routine seems to be the tipping point for reminding me of that.