Jun 29

My little Cub Scout!

photo (23)

I had a big long post I had in mind for Brody’s birthday. However, his birthdays are so bittersweet for me, and I struggle with so many feelings each year. To help ensure I did not focus on the ‘bitter’ I decided to forego the post and instead I posted a little something on the Facebook page about his birthday.

Since Brody turned 8 years old, the big news is he can now participate in Cub Scouts! The Cub Scout Leader called me the other morning. I was so taken back by the call because I forgot that boys can start Cub Scouts after they turn 8 and with Brody having the specific autism symptoms that he does, it was something that I put out of my mind. As I was talking to the leader, it was as if I was simultaneously going through an emotional rollercoaster. As the conversation began, my first thought was a very bitter, “great, one more thing my kid can’t experience and can’t take part in because he has autism”.  Then my mind went to a sad place when I pictured a group of boys all dressed in their scout uniforms doing activities, socializing and having fun – and yet again – Brody not able to do any of it. As the conversation progressed and I explained to the Cub Scout Leader some of Brody’s limitations, I realized all the other aspects of Brody’s life where he still takes part in experiences and activities but with some adapting.  For years, I never thought Brody would be able to attend church with kids his own age in his appropriate class. He has been going for a while and though many of the spiritual lessons are over his head and he does not comprehend, he is there and hopefully soaking up some aspect of the lessons. As families socialize at special occasions throughout the year, Brody is encouraged and helped to greet cousins, aunts and uncles and be a part of our big family. True, at times, he wants to break away and do his own thing but with some help, he makes better eye contact and is more familiar with extended family. For so long, I would hear about recitals and events schools would have where parents and families attend and watch talents of their children. With hearing so few words from Brody, I feared the day would never come to go to a school event where Brody is participating or displaying a talent. Yet over the past year, we have attended a winter and spring musical event at Brody’s school.  I could name even more but I think my point is coming across! I felt more comfortable as the Cub Scout Leader listed some of the upcoming activities. Some he will be able to go and perhaps some that will be more challenging he will not. He will have to go with his Dad to help and supervise him but then again, how special to have that one-on-one time with his Dad.

In the end, the conversation with the Cub Scout Leader was almost comical when I thought about it later that day. I went from wanting to cry because I worried there was no way Brody can participate in Cub Scouts cause of his severe lack of  communication to excited for him to go to his Den and Pack meetings.

I guess it is just further proof that I need to have more faith in Brody, in his progress and in others. The Cub Scout Leader was more than happy to accommodate any need Brody might have in order to help him participate. I did not feel judged or embarrassed as I spoke about Brody’s autism. I feel this leader will support Brody and our family. I am constantly worried and stressed but more often Brody is capable and others greet him and our situation with love and understanding.

1 comment

  1. Stephanie Erwin

    I so know this feeling. I’ve had these same conversations for years now and probably will continue to give them out. Every time Drummer gets invited to something I have to stay and supervise him and explain his anxiety to the other parents or teachers. But just this weekend a friend invited drum to come swim with his family and the mother assured me she could handle it and promised to call me if there was any “melt downs”. He stayed the whole day and had a great time. I’m sure that there were problems but she was such a saint and didn’t tell me about any of them. Sometimes miracles happen and The Lord provides people to help you out! Keep moving forward and don’t feel embarrassed for speaking up for your children. They are lucky to have a mom who works so hard for them!

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