Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Oh, mom, leave me alone!"

Some students at a local college are raking leaves in our neighborhood in exchange for a donation to Habitat for Humanity, a favorite cause of mine. I signed up, and two guys and a girl came over and plowed through our front and backyard. Max was right out there with them. He helped rake. He dumped leaves onto the tarp. He helped drag the tarp to the curb.

When I stepped outside to take pictures of him, Max shook his head and waved me in. I tried to hide behind a bush (he looked so cute, I really wanted more photos), but he spotted me and again told me to go inside. I just barely snapped this pic.

Max wants independence. Of course he does. It's something I forget sometimes, because he's still dependent on us for a lot of things—feeding, dressing, diapering. But he's going to be 7, soon. And inside that body is a little boy who wants to be free to do things alone, without his mom or dad. Like any other 7-year-old.

It's me who needs to work on this independence thing. Because every inch of me wants to hover around Max, help Max, take care of Max. I've been in overdrive for years.

I know I have to let my baby grow up, in whatever ways he's ready to.

I have to let go.


  1. I can so relate to this post. As I mentioned before my granddaughter Sierra is also 6yr old(well,6 1/2as I am often reminded) She has mild CP. From the begining we always treated her like a regular kid,but there are limits to what she can do. I still have a tendecy to want to hover & "help" but have to remind myself that she is capeable of doing for her self & if she needs help,she'll ask(which she does) Over the summer I re inforced the taking off of her wet pull up,(she wears these at night),how to put a clean Poise pad(heavy duty bladder controll size) in her big girl undies(she wears these during the day) Her big thing right now is brushing her own teeth,which includes putting the toothpaste on the brush. We have a deal, she does the AM cleaning & I do the PM cleaning. I still assist w/AM dressing,just because we would have to get up WAY to early for her (she is a little pokey,for lack of a better word)She also likes to brush her own hair in the morning(that's the hardest one to let her do,lol)
    I think it's hard to let go,even when our kids don't have dissabilities,lol.

  2. I guess letting go is hard for any parent, but for parents of kids with special needs I think it just might be more difficult. My daughter needs so much help that it is easy for me to think of her as a baby. She isn't a baby anymore, she is 2 (and about the size of most 3 year olds!). I am working on seeing her as a toddler and a kid rather than a baby. It is a process. I guessing that it is going to get harder, rather than easier as she gets older. *sigh*

  3. He looks so grown up in that picture. Also, do you think he could teach Charlie a thing or two--I have to go tend to Mr. whiney-pants right now because he can't play on the floor by himself. Sigh.

  4. nice story. Dose Max's school do reading buddies? I loved being with older kids when I was his age and reading buddies when I was the youngest was a great experance. Neghborhood ran activites like Ayso are great as well do they have any of those in your area

  5. Well, it's understandable that you want to hover--who doesn't? Nowadays you turn on the tv and all kinds of stories just make you feel like you need to keep your kids in a glass cage, or something.

    It's also understandable that kids don't want their parents all over them constantly. It's hard to strike the balance.

    It helps to live in a rinky dink town where nonresidents are "noticed," with no mall, one big box store and a population way under ten thousand. You can let your kids go over to the playground by themselves. You can let the kids play down the street with the neighbor girl without stressing. Downside? Everyone knows you...and knows your business! You can't get away with anything. Even if you go two towns over to buy something or visit an old friend, someone will come up to you in a week or so and say that "so and so" saw you over there!

  6. We're getting this lately too. My E. is 7 and autistic, and lately he's been insisting he can babysit himself. He is also prone to leaving the front door open, allowing his baby sister to escape, but he says it's OK because he'll watch her.


  7. Go Max! I can just picture him looking all over the yard to see where you are hiding with the camera.

    That is such a fine line we walk with the independence compared to safety. This past summer I was chasing behind Little Dude as he rode on one of those toddler cars (designed for toddlers). I knew that I was the ultimate picture of a helicopter parent, yet also knew that he just did not have the grasp. In the end, he did not need me there, but it was luck instead of grasp (although the neighbors did have a good laugh at the scene I was making :)

    Good luck to you and Max as you figure out the lines....

  8. This is something I'm already trying to figure out. So far, Chloe still wants me to hover, but I'm trying to teach her (and myself) that she can do some things on her own. This is a hard lesson for us, but I think it's important for her overall development.

    I think Max was just trying to hit on the girls?!? ;O)

  9. Hooray for Max. And hooray for you. Soooooo hard to step back. I know. My girl is 14 and needs a lot of help, but is also a teen and needs a lot of space. Tricky to provide when she needs so much support from us.


Thanks for sharing!