Fine lines

Baby D was standing just now in the crib looking at me full of pride because standing is a relatively new thing. It’s supposed to be nap time though and I found myself torn between unabashed praise, “Hey, look at you!!” and a plead for mercy, “D, it’s nap time now.”

I find myself at this line quite a bit with older son C who has autism spectrum disorder. Last spring his paraprofessional assistant and I stood dumbfounded at the school park not knowing what to say as we watched him stand in the center of the seesaw. It’s a feat which requires balance, coordination, fearlessness and an abandoning of “the way things should be done” which plagues him every day.

It’s that conundrum of parenthood that if we do things correctly, we will work ourselves out of a job by creating independent adults. It’s a process of letting go which begins at childbirth. Who knew parenting would be so full of emotional negotiation?

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