we're growing too

What a beautiful weekend it has been. The sun is starting to shine, and it’s finally nice enough to be outside. And that we did. We spent the most time outside together as family this weekend, than we ever have.

It was effortlessly fun, and not filled with opposition. It was the best. Our new lab is actually sore from all the walks and fetch we played. We’re pretty excited for summer to say the least. It has been one long, cold winter.

And it was a long week too just with Noah being sick. So it was really nice to get out of the house and get some fresh air.

And we decided we’d bring Noah to Target.

I’ve been noticing Noah wants to go places more. He gets super excited every time we get in the car. But if we don’t have school or therapy — I don’t really know where he would want to go. But I’ve been thinking of just trying a few of the regulars — like Target, the grocery store, Grammie and Papa’s. I want to start giving Noah a little more control in his life and letting him make choices. Big and small. I’m actually working on a tangible pecs system as we speak.

So we get to Target and he’s pumped. He starts shouting and flicking his hands and we’re like yay, he likes this idea.

He held both of our hands, the entire time. He was the one who never wanted to let go — which he is just so sweet. He holds our hands all the time, even when he doesn’t have too. He has liked too since he was a baby.

Of course though, there are plenty of times where he doesn’t cooperate and turns into jello on the floor and screams at the top of his lungs — like how he did when he wanted to go through the neighbors fence this morning. And he would not accept that you can’t go through a fence, yeah good times.

But at Target, he was rocking it. And he usually does. He usually is in a cart though. This time we walked it. And it was busy, busier than usual. We were there to get one thing, but we didn’t feel rushed to get it. We walked down the aisles. Talked over which one to get. Noah tried to run away, I asked him to come back please. He yelled, but then slowly walked back over.

We headed to check out and the lines were packed. Only a couple lanes open and all with several people waiting.

Now this is where things can all fall apart. Where things can go from zero to a hundred.

Noah, and so many kids on the spectrum, struggle with waiting. It’s not that we as his parents are not constantly working on it and trying to teach him. It’s just one of the hardest concepts for our kiddos to learn.

But today, he completely nailed it. He had to wait for at least ten minutes. He did it. No problem, and held our hands the whole time.

The first minute he didn’t move much but then he was starting to get the wiggles and feeling the wait. So he started running in place and dancing like he does, and started squealing and shouting.

And my instinct was to shh him. Because that’s what we’re supposed to do, right? We’re supposed to keep our kids in line and orderly.

But I stopped myself. And I’m so freaking happy that I did. I will not quiet my kid because of what strangers may think. Our kids aren’t meant to be perfect behaved little robots anyways. Especially not mine. He is loud, and silly, but not hurtful or disrespectful. So what does it matter?

So Noah squealed and danced away while we waited in line. Adam and I looked at each other, and I could feel he felt the same exact way. We were just so proud of Noah for being there and handling it like a champ. And we could care less how he “looked.”

In fact, a man did glance back at us and down at Noah, and you know what — he smiled.

And I smiled because we’re teaching the world about Noah. That’s our whole goal. To teach people about autism, and nonverbal.

We are slowly caring less and less about what people think, and more and more about our son being a part of the big world, and having experiences. And it feels pretty darn good.

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