JOSH IS DRIVING

I don’t have any one story that pops into my mind that I can share with you about Josh.  Specifically, because I share daily stories about his life on his Facebook page, Just Joshin’ Ya, so it would seem that I’m all storied-out, OR NOT! 

As of late, I’ve begun to realize that Josh has started to take over the driving responsibilities “on his own road”; whereas, once upon a time, dad and I were driving and it was our road.  Josh is currently most definitely taking the wheel from us, slow but sure.  The transition HAS begun, whether I like it or not, and I hadn’t even realized it until this last month when Josh was sick with a bug after a bug after another bug.

During the month of February right into March, so many amazing things happened in the face of him being sick.  February 7th, Josh, dad and myself headed on over to Josh’s school to meet with the rest of the team to develop his IEP for the coming year.  He voiced lots of opinions, more than in any other year.  When we left the 2 hour meeting, we stopped to get a quick lunch and headed home to eat.  Within 30 minutes, he was vomiting and other things followed shortly after that.  No need to be descriptive, you get the picture.

THIS IS WHEN JOSH STARTED TO TAKE THE WHEEL FROM ME AND DAD, LEAVING OUR ROAD AND DRIVING OFF ONTO A NEW ROAD THAT HE HAD JUST DISCOVERED FOR HIMSELF!!! 

I begged and pleaded with Josh to sleep upstairs in the spare bedroom right next to ours, but he flat-out refused and insisted on sleeping in his apartment (in the basement).  I was so worried.  What if he has to vomit again?  What if he can’t make it to the sink/toilet?  How will he come and get me if he needs me while he is getting sick?  What if he this, what if he that?  He just kept reassuring me…..”mom, I’ll be fine” AND he was!!  He made it through the entire intestinal bug without much, if any, help from us.  How very sad?!?  How very wonderful?!?  Such mixed emotions for me.  The question of……how would he take care of himself if he was sick and lived on his own……was answered without a single doubt left in my mind.  Josh answered that question loud and clear!

Throughout the rest of February and into March, he continued to be sick on and off.  He would recover from one bug and catch another.  This past week, his symptoms flared again and we brought him to see his ear, nose and throat doctor who diagnosed a pretty significant sinus infection.  He prescribed Josh an oral antibiotic and probiotics.  On the way home from the doctor’s office, Josh informed me, insisted, no more like demanded, that he was “going to keep my medicine downstairs and take it myself!!!!” 

Really, my kid is going to self-administer his own medication???  Could I trust him to do it the right way?  Well, we were about to find out!  We went over and over and over the “rules”.  Pretty easy dosing actually, one antibiotic and one probiotic around 7:00 a.m. and one of each again around 7:00 p.m.  My instructions were met with comments like, “well, I don’t know if I’ll be up at 7:00 in the morning, so whenever I get up, I will eat my breakfast and then take my pills.”  Seriously, how could I argue with his logic? 

I don’t know if moms really ever get used to having to untie the apron strings, but I’ve been having to do it his entire life, one baby step at a time, and it never seems any easier, no matter what stage he’s in.

Josh is taking the wheel.  I’d love to tell all of you that he’s being nice about it and asking me politely to get in the passenger’s seat, but the reality is….he is taking the wheel and shoving me into the backseat, if he even lets me ride in the “car” with him at all and, in most cases, he does whatever is required to get to the same destination that I would have, just taking a different route. 

More and more every day, I can hear him in my imagination yelling at me with delight in his voice ”I’m driving now, buckle up, it might get bumpy, but it’s gonna be fun” and I really couldn’t agree more.  What a ride it has been so far, 18 years come and nearly gone ~ where has my baby gone?! 

I look forward to every new day that he puts a new demand on me to “let go ~ just a tiny bit more.”  I don’t feel like it’s going to be long before we are wishing him “safe travels” on the new road that he has discovered and demands to travel solo!