Hey Village! It's time to celebrate again!Often times when you have a kid on the Autism Spectrum there are accomplishments that take place that no one really understands, except the people closest to you. They are small accomplishments that as the parent make you want to rent the party room, pull out the streamers, blow some party balloons and hire the clown. And in a way…I guess that's what I'm doing by writing this post.
Logan, my oldest son, is eleven years old and on the Autism Spectrum. I recently wrote about his accomplishment of being able to tolerate large groups which was HUGE for our family. It's opened doors to opportunities that we weren't able to experience before.
Well now I am here to celebrate jeans.
Jeans?, you might wonder.
Yes, it is that simple…jeans.
There was an entire year when Logan refused to wear anything but superhero long sleeved pajamas. As you can see in the first picture where his brother is wearing seasonally appropriate clothes for July in Washington DC, Logan stood his ground and wore his pajamas everywhere. You might wonder why I didn't "make" him wear other clothes. Yes, of course I tried. But until you've experienced a meltdown from a child on the Autism Spectrum please do not judge. It's beyond anything you've ever experienced. The look of pain in my son's eyes as I wrestled him into shorts and a t-shirt was as if I was lighting his skin on fire. The screaming would reach an all new octave, the tears would cover his entire red face while gasping for air all because of a cotton t-shirt and elastic waist shorts. This was the start of our day for several weeks. The meltdown would last over an hour. The pain in his eyes, that's what broke me.
I couldn't handle it.
I gave up.
I bought every pair of superhero pajamas I could find in his size. It was summer and finding long sleeve pajamas was nearly impossible. Short sleeved and short sets would not placate him. It had to be long sleeved, he insisted that his skin had to be covered in the 90 degree humid heat of DC. I found two Superman sets on clearance at Target and it felt like I hit the lottery. I called my mom in tears, having my own meltdown over pajamas, and because she has witnessed Logan's getting dressed meltdowns first hand she understood my immediate need for her to go to her local Target and buy clearance superhero pajama sets as well. Between the two of us we were able to secure a weeks worth of long sleeved pajamas. And it felt like my life became normal. Except for the fact that I got stares and comments from strangers everywhere we went, we were a magnet for parenting advice.
"How could you allow your son to wear long sleeves in this heat?"
You have no idea.
Logan outgrew the pajama phase, it led to t-shirts and elastic waist athletic pants which has been a staple in his wardrobe for the past several years. And then today he came downstairs ready for school wearing jeans! I'm not sure if the jeans were a gift or something his father bought that Logan has refused to wear and it has been living at the bottom of the drawer. I don't remember how they came to appear in our house but on laundry day when all the other athletic pants were dirty his choice was simple…jeans. And he didn't have a meltdown, he wore them proudly. I made such a huge deal about it, complementing him on how grown up he looks. Taking pictures of his outfit. In my mind I knew instantly that this would be scrapbooked in our family photo book.
My mom came over that night and fussed over him on handsome he was in jeans. I'm so glad she got to see him, that she too got to celebrate this accomplishment since she lived through the pajama phase with me. Like I said this was a big deal, a major accomplishment.
Jeans today….I wonder what tomorrow will bring?