Friday, May 26, 2017

What I really meant to say...

I'm a bit of a weepy mess this afternoon but before you feel bad for me, I'm giving you permission to laugh at me.  I know it sounds ridiculous.  I've said the words out loud about a dozen times now, wondering if they’d somehow mean more or less if I heard them in my tone of voice rather than in my head.  I only have two more days to drive carpool and while this should make me jump for joy, I know my life will never be the same.

So let me back up and bring you in on where all of this began.  I've been wondering how to break it to my son that I want to drive him to school on the first day in August.  Do I have a good reason? Not really.  He’ll have his license.  He has a car.  He’ll have driven nine thousand miles over the summer in various lighting and weather conditions because we’re going to live in his car until I feel confident he knows enough to pull out of the driveway on his own.  But I have a few bits of mom logic bouncing around my brain that I’m prepared to toss about when I plead my case. The first day is always frenetic and I’ve been in the high school parking lot on enough day ones to know the student parking area looks like a toddler took a warehouse full of matchbox cars and threw them everywhere.
The view from the from of the line.

So I got brave yesterday and floated this notion by the kiddo.  There I stood, fully anchored in reality yet hopeful, as he grinned at me from ear to ear.  “Mom. No way. I'm looking forward to driving myself.”

I know this.  The kiddo and I are close and we talk about things like this.  I know he's excited.  So I joked and laughed and played it cool and said typical mom things that came to mind like who will hold your coffee while you're getting all of your stuff out of the car and you can’t eat and drive so you’re going to have to add ten minutes to your morning routine.  I have jobs in the morning.  I'm the breakfast maker and the coffee holder so I thought these were valid talking points. But what I really meant to say were heart things like who will tell you to do great and have a great day and that they love you before you head into the fray?  Who will be waiting with a smile to pick you up and listen as you download your day?  I ended up going with the simple truth.  “I’ll miss running through our checklist.”

You see, my kiddo is an Aspie.  And while his Aspie is extremely mild, like a dash of pepper on a beautifully frosted slice of cake, routine runs the game.  I never knew when he was diagnosed at the tender of age of five, when we learned that his routines were a God-wired part of him and not just learned behavior, that these same routines I often loathed would become so ingrained in me that I would have a harder time breaking some of them than he would.

It was then my son said the sweetest, most heartbreaking thing I've ever heard leave his lips.  “I know, mom.  Haven't you noticed I've been giving you less and less information during our afternoon run down? I didn't want to hurt your feelings but I know I have to start doing the rundown for myself so I've been trying to keep my conversations with you fairly brief.

Oh sweetheart, I wanted to shout.  I’ve noticed.  Of course I have.  The logical part of me has known what he was doing since he changed up our routine shortly after spring break but my heart didn't want to admit it.

“So what if I just ride with you?” I asked.  No, I’m not above a backdoor approach to getting my way.

“Sure,” he offers quickly.  He’s been driving me around town for months so this isn’t anything new.  But then he catches me.  “Wait a minute,” he smiles.  “If you ride with me that means you either take my car and come back after school or you sit in the parking lot for seven hours.  Nice try, but no deal, mom.”

So the kiddo is on to me.  Okay.  That’s fine.  I get it.  I’ve seriously got to up my game.


  1. Yeah, I totally get this. But just because one routine is ending, doesn't mean you can't start a totally new one--like before he leaves the house. Or you could leave notes in his car for him to find.

  2. I love this idea. Thank you!