Author Archives: cassiecar

Learning to let go.

The hardest part of being a parent is learning to let go!  Your child starts out as this perfect little being that is 100% dependent on you.  You love him more than yourself.  He grew in your womb and  drank from your breast.  For his first year of life he was still a part of you.  Then slowly you have got to share him with the world.  You let people babysit him, you send him to preschool.  But you are still the constant in his life!  You are His Mum.  He loves you and still needs you.  Then “real” school starts and he has teachers, bus drivers, and friends.  You are no longer the only one who is teaching your child.  There are outside forces that are molding him into the man that you are raising.  You hope he remembers to be kind, to help others in need and to be strong.  You get through elementary school, junior high and high school.  Your baby is now a grown man!  He is making his own choices and living his own life.  Then he decideds to drop out of school and work for a living.  What?  That is not my plan for him!  You know this decision that he is making is going to make his life harder.  You try to share your opinion but he does not want to hear it.  So, you yell it louder, so he can hear you better!  But that does not work because you both are now yelling and screaming saying things you do not mean.  You try to get him to see this from your point of view because you know you are right! He needs to stay in school so he can be the person that you envisioned him to be.  So, you continue to yell and scream,  beg and cry.  So what happens next?  He moves out!  You are devastated! What?  You are still a child!  My child!  You are not ready to be on your own.  You cry the first night he is not home.  Your world is changing and you are not ready and then it hits you! You are not ready, it has nothing to do with him, it is you! I am being selfish.  I am trying to hold him back.  This is his life.  I taught him to be independent and to follow his dreams.  To be brave and to stick up for himself when he wants to do something that people might not agree with.  Here I am his cheerleader all throughout his childhood trying my hardest to hold him back for myself.  Oh my goodness!  I have to stop! and let him go.  Am I pleased that he droped out of school?  Hell no! but I am glad that he is following his dreams.  I tell him and myself that he can always go back to school.  You are never too old to learn new things.  He is still on his own and I miss seeing him every night.  I do get to see him a few times a week when he comes over for dinner and does his laundry and we sit and chit chat.  Our relationship has changed.  It is no longer a relationship of me telling him what to do but one that ebbs and flows.  I love him with all my heart and I want the best for him.  But I had to accept that my job has changed from care giver to that of a confidant and maybe even a friend.

Cassie Ricco

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Christmas, used gifts and my side of autism

Cassie Ricco

Let’s start by saying I love Christmas.  I love everything about Christmas.  The music, decorating, the food, but most of all buying the gifts for my loved ones.  I love seeing how happy they get opening their gifts, and seeing, what inside all those shiny boxes.    Now how does autism affect my Christmas shopping you ask?  Well, my son Parker, age 14 has high functioning autism and every single year the child asks for things that I have to buy used and online through eBay or other websites.  No problem right!  Except when the things he wants are from China and the order does not come in until well after Christmas.  I have had to print out pictures of what was coming and wrap them.  This did not always go well.  Can you blame him for having a meltdown when he wants a specific Thomas train and got a piece of paper?  Really Mumma!  I remember one year he wanted a vintage (used) Kermit the frog puppet the one where you put your hand in his mouth and you talk for him.  It was the only thing he talked about for months.  I search months to find that silly frog and every time I found one I would get out bid in the last two seconds.  I kept searching and bidding and finally won one.  I paid for it and went about the rest of my Christmas shopping.  I was so happy I was finished a few days before Christmas.  I wrapped my gifts and waited for the very special day.  It finally came and everyone was so happy except my Parks.  He did not get his Kermit.  I made a bunch of excuses saying it must be lost in the mail.  To my surprise he handled it very well.  I still have no idea what happened to that Kermit.  I am not sure if it came and got misplaced or if it never came.  Flash forward to the present.  I get his list at the end of September so I can make sure I can get everything by Christmas.  I used to feel bad about buying him used gifts for Christmas, but the reality is they do not make what he wants new anymore.  On Christmas morning he is always so super excited to open up his twenty-year-old Pokémon game that I bought used for double the original cost.  However, now I always make sure I check to see if my item was shipped and received.  I would now like to eBay and the internet for making this a possibility.  Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.