Thursday, January 7, 2021

One of the best feelings any parent can have

Yesterday Max did his workshop program on our kitchen table, the one his school put together to help him gain job skills while he's learning at home. This time the task was to place plastic spoons, forks and straws into 10 bins. It would help him practice organizing, sorting and fine-motor skills. Only he demonstrated something even more amazing along the way.

I came down from my office in the attic to help Max set up and get going. He grasped the concept but the cutlery, not so much. The plastic straws proved even harder for him to grab.  

After he'd struggled through two bins' worth of work, he walked over to the silverware drawer and grabbed some metal spoons. Our sitter was perplexed, but I knew instantly what was going on: Max had realized that picking up the weighted metal spoons would be easier than the plastic ones. 

Excitement, happiness and relief flooded through me. Knowing that your child can look out for themselves—and figure out how to enable themselves—is huge. Maybe it was just one little task. But in that one moment, I was reminded that Max has those abilities. And that his smarts and common sense will carry him through life, even when Dave and I won't be there for him. 

Of course, I know full well that Max is bright and competent. But as his longtime helper/coach/cheerleader, it can be difficult to not doubt Max's independence, as much as I so badly want him to have it. So I am always grateful and relieved by these reminders when they crop up. Like the way Max insists on going to yoga sessions with my sister-in-law, because he knows they relax him. Or the time a few months ago when Max insisted on walking home alone from a visit to the fire station or when he took it upon himself to cancel a therapy session, because he preferred to go to the park (he still occasionally does that). 

Max continued on with his bin sorting. He ran out of metal spoons and stuck with the plastic ones, sometimes clutching them, the forks or the straws so tightly that I thought they would break. But he persevered and finished all 10 bins. (Determination: another awesome life skill.)

Few thoughts are as unsettling and utterly disturbing as the one that your child with disabilities will someday go on living without you. And few thoughts are as heartening and hope-filled as this: He will be OK.


  1. Such an awesome feeling, indeed!

  2. I live by myself my parents are gone and I have cp He will have Sabrina and Ben to help but getting him to be as independent as he can helps My parent especially my mom didnt do that very over protected when they died I was a mess now I am a work in progress


Thanks for sharing!

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