This morning, I saw the same face I witnessed the day he took off down the road on his bike for the first time.
The feeling of freedom, feeling of independence, the feeling of confidence, the feeling of ”I did it!” It was a look that will forever be deep-rooted in my mind.
Working on self-independence is an everyday thing in our home. That is our long term goal right? To provide Cody with the skills and confidence to be able to live a successful independent life one day on his own? Shit, that scares me when I write those words out.
So this morning, I placed the car in park about five cars deep in the line at school drop off. Cody jumped out and put on his backpack and threw his Communication Device over his shoulders. I gave him a hug and said, “Have a great day, I love you!” Unplanned on my part, I just stood there and said, “Go on in! You know where to go!”
The kid ran so fast to join 3 friends that were running in same time. He was in front and I heard his giggle all the way from my car. He did not know he was supposed to open the door! It’s times like this when you are enabling him and don’t even realize it because someone is always there to open his door. As parents, Brad and I are constantly having to think differently to create growth for Cody.
You question yourself, “If he were by his self standing at that same door, would he just be standing there until someone acknowledged him or opened the door for him? Perhaps, yes!” THESE are the things that all have to be taught to Cody. Once learned, it’s tattooed in his head forever. Nothing can come natural, simple like others may learn but once in there, its locked in forever.
After an awkward 10 seconds, I hollered to Cody from car, “Open door!” He successfully opened and off he ran! I ran up to see under the door and all I could see was his smile as he turned the corner realizing he bypassed his classroom. I immediately called his teacher and told her what I did so she could track him down. She quickly responded he is doing exactly what he should and headed to the cafeteria where he sits with friends until the bell rings. She was so excited and sent this photo. His posture and smile say it all. Seeing his joy this morning was priceless and I am so grateful for his teachers.
On another note, his Occupational Therapist reached out before the Thanksgiving holiday and realized there is so much inside CR’s brain that he can’t express that she has picked up on because of his limitations in his writing skills. We are now testing and probing to see if we need to go into a different direction to help him release his thoughts and responses through technology. I will share and write on this subject another time……stay tuned!
Look at his smile!