Going Solo

It has to happen some day, I keep saying to myself. 

I HAVE to let him do this. 

It’s not that I don’t want him to. I am, like, begging to get to this point.

Anyway, a recent post from a fave blog made me stop and think.

Helicopter Parents 

(Many thanks to Momma Needs A Beer for the inspiration for this post. She’s funny, you should follow her)

It made me think of how much helicoptery I do with Mayor Bee.

Not necessarily because of him. Believe me, I would love nothing more than dropping him off somewhere for a class and be able to come back to an exhausted munchkin.  He has such a high threshold; I’m normally not concerned if he takes a tumble or something like that.

My biggest worry is other kids, or rather, their parents. With friends, I either follow his cues well plus my friends are VERY understanding.

Strangers, however, are a whole nuther subject. Strangers may not (or don’t want to) understand his, uh…personality.  And there is ALWAYS a chance that he may either engage in aggressive behavior with another kid OR ignore the teacher and bolt. I always have to be on guard.  I agonize that I am being judged by other moms.

Both happened in his swimming camps over the summer. There are two scenarios I see in my head:

A.  Man, she needs to work on controlling her son – look at him running around/not listening/screaming

2.  Man, she needs to relax, let her son just go with the flow, man.

I just can’t win.

So, on Monday I went to The Little Gym to try a new class. Because, you know you have to keep trying. I was upfront with the coaches, explaining his autism and sensory quirks. It’s a small class, I was reassured and they had another instructor who could pitch in if necessary.

And I stayed outside, the entire time, with exception of taking him to the bathroom (another success story in itself but I digress). I had my camera handy to get some pictures.

Look I'm sitting STILL!

Practicing my inner zen...

We survived, with only minor issues. He had fun, he said. He definitely looked like it, trying to imitate his idol Curious George on some of the equipment. The coaches were happy with him too.

Still, I can’t get that nagging feeling out of my head. How can you balance the feeling of freedom of letting your child participate fully in an activity, without you? Do you freak out if the coach/teacher/parent may not “get” a bad response to something? Do you feel the need to press your face against the glass making sure it’ll be ok?

We’re trying another class there next week. Because if there is one think I know, it’s to be damn sure you know what you are getting into before plunking that credit card over.

With thanks to…


About OneLoCoMommy

I live in Northern Virginia and and I look like the stereotypical suburban mom, for better or for worse. My son plays baseball and takes karate (albeit adaptive). My daughter is a gymnastics diva but rolls with the boys in T-ball. I've been a Room Mom and Playdate Coordinator. I work full-time, try to work out, and love my Book Club. However, I also blog on my experiences on our ASD, SPD and ADHD journey while trying to be a better parent advocate. All in a life's work.
This entry was posted in Autism, Life, Magic Moments, Mayor Bee, Music, PDD-NOS and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Going Solo

  1. I’m sure we all have helicopter moments the first time we have to let them go, whether they are an active & healthy kid, one with special needs — or anything in between! It gets easier when you realize they *can* be someone else’s problem for a few hours… and it’s good for every party involved. Good for them to be in a new environment, good for you to get a break! Incredible, thought-provoking post, Diane. Thanks for all your kind words!


    • Thanks for your wonderful post. I am working on it – Bee used to be more aggressive or struck back at other kids by hitting, biting, kicking…you name it. So, I definitely think after that I was so much more conscious of him in “free play”. I mean, we cannot watch this on the football field years down the line right?


  2. Denise says:

    I have so been there. I still err on the side of helicoptering but I am working on it. What a great accomplishment for you and for Bee!


  3. I so, so get this.

    I’ve been letting go a bit and it’s been mostly successful, but I always have that fear that tells me I should be there in case my son has any sort of outburst.


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