What Moms Want for Their Kids
Standing by my open kitchen window, I try to inconspicuously peak out back without anyone seeing me. I can barely contain myself as I listen to the awesome sound of my 18-year-old son laughing in the pool with five teens from his art class. My heart feels like it will simply explode with happiness.
For years, I’ve longed to hear a group of teens laughing on our back porch while they ate snacks, shared jokes, or played card games. I’ve yearned to see a bunch of kids splashing around in our pool, listening to music, batting around a beach ball, or playfully dunking each other.
To most mothers of teens, having their kids’ friends hang out at your house is a normal occurrence. To a mother of a teen with Asperger’s, this is practically a miracle.
With social and communication difficulties at the crux of Asperger’s, this autism-spectrum disorder often spells a death sentence to a kid’s social life. Being socially awkward and missing out on the hidden nuances of body language, facial expressions, and social cues, kids (and teens and adults) with Asperger’s struggle to connect with others, making it difficult to make and keep friends.
As a mother, this has been the biggest heartbreak of my life—watching my son sit home every Friday and Saturday night throughout middle school and high school, knowing that, while other teens are out having fun together, no one invited my son to join in. Among other things, this social exclusion has totally shaken my son’s self-confidence.
But today, I’m in absolute awe of my son. Despite years of being rejected, excluded, or politely blown off by other teens, he went way beyond his comfort zone to host a pool party and invite a dozen kids in his high school art class. And for the first time since elementary school, kids said YES!
Despite a terrible thunderstorm the day of the party, six teens showed up. To these six teens, it was probably just another fun thing to do on a Saturday afternoon in the summer. To my son, it meant so much more. These teens didn’t just say yes to an event—they said yes to my son. Yes, we like you. Yes, we accept you. Yes, we want to spend time with you. Yes, we enjoy being with you.
To see my son’s face light up, to know he feels valued and accepted, to hear the shared laughter – this is the connection I’ve been longing to see for my son for years. To me, it feels like a miracle. It might be fleeting and last no longer than this pool party. But I’ll take it, for it gives me hope for my son’s future.
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ABOUT LISA: Lisa Beach is a recovering stay-at-home mom and homeschooler who lived to write about it. Her blog, Tweenior Moments, humorously tackles middle age, friends, family, and all the baggage that goes with it. Her work has been published on Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, Midlife Boulevard, and Ten to Twenty Parenting.
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What Moms Want for Their Kids was written by Lisa Beach exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.
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Photo Credit: Teenage Friends at BigStock Photo