Autism

Starting another school year

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Today is Master Owen’s first day back to school; he is starting the fourth grade.

Plus, in just a few weeks, he will be turning 10–graduating to the double digit ages!!

Where has the time gone?

Because of his diagnosis (autism), Master Owen has been attending school full time since the day he turned three, making this his eighth school year. He’s practically a “pro” at the whole first-day-of-school routine; not I. Despite my fussing the past few days, I was still unprepared for this morning.

MO, on the other hand, was up FAR too early and had already picked out the clothes he was going to wear. (Yes, HE picked them out…a first!). I knew he had been giving the “turning 10” business a lot of thought in the last few weeks. We have been talking about how he needed to take school seriously and which chores he needed to start doing. So, I guess starting 4th grade, in his mind, was the beginning of his journey into Manhood.

He decided to go for the “Joe Cool” look, which included his dog tags, new sneakers, pants, shirt, jacket and sunglasses. When I suggested he might want to ditch the jacket and switch from pants to shorts, he looked at me like I had two heads. (How could I be so uncool?)

But–since I am all for cutting the apron strings–I let him go in what he felt most comfortable. Of course, he was WAY too cool for a picture, so you’ll just have to imagine it.

The uncool mother in me did give him some advice, which got turned around in typical MO fashion:

Me: “Now remember, you aren’t a grown man yet. You still have lots to learn.”

MO: “Mom. I am 100% a man!”

Me: “Oh, of course! That’s not what I was saying. I was saying you weren’t all grown up and still had many things to learn…so don’t be ‘too cool’ that you don’t pay attention.”

MO: “Oh, okay. I thought you were saying I wasn’t a man…which I am!”

Me: “Yes. Yes, you are.”

A few minutes later he was boarding the bus. I stood at the bottom with all three dogs wrapped around my legs. His new bus driver immediately said: “Whoa! Don’t you look cool!”

And I knew then he was going to be all right.

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