My daughter was talking to me yesterday when, with a shock, I suddenly noticed something.
She’s eleven now.
She’s changing significantly. She’s growing up. In spite of her Aspie traits, she is becoming more responsible. She’s genuinely interested in more adult-oriented activities. Where in the past she’s actively avoided responsibility wherever and whenever she could, now she’s actively seeking it in many situations.
She still likes to do “kid stuff”. She still takes some things too far because she’s still a child at the core of her being (I actually hope she never loses that). But she isn’t a little girl any more.
I looked at my son, and the same thing is happening. He’s six – and yet, he WANTS to do chores. He wants to help out. He’s getting his mother to teach him how to do laundry because he sees it as a way he can assist with the house. He WANTS to do this.
I was suddenly overwhelmed with a flood of feelings about missed opportunities. All those things “normal” dads do with their kids, like playing catch and teaching them sports and games and running around having squirt-gun fights.
My kids are growing up, and I’m missing it.
AND I’VE BEEN RIGHT HERE THE WHOLE TIME.
I hate this illness.