The Young Man He Is and Isn’t

teen boy

I was looking at my son the other night and saw him. I imagined him without Autism and the learning delays that come with it. I thought of all the things that an average sixteen year old boy would be doing. Girlfriends, movie nights, hanging out with his friends.

I highly doubt that I would be tucking him into bed. He’d likely have a “keep out” poster on his door and loud music playing through his headphones. Or maybe he’d let me in, and we’d have a heart to heart chat about his day, his concerns or his hopes for the future.

What is it like to have a sixteen year old boy?

I don’t know, but I can imagine. That night, instead of the boy I see everyday, I saw a young man. A guy taller than me, with tightened facial features, and a few hairs on his chin and upper lip. When I said “goodnight” I heard a man’s voice repeat the same.

My son is not a little boy anymore, but to see that is so incredibly difficult. Autism and other learning disabilities can play tricks on a person’s perspective. My son doesn’t behave like a sixteen year old, nor has he advanced mentally to fit that age; not even close. So it requires deep concentration to look beyond what my mind sees, to even get a glimpse of the young man he’s become.

Although it may not seem like it, I have a sixteen year old young man living under my roof. A young man who does have hopes and dreams, even though they’re rarely discussed. A young man who has overcome many obstacles to get to where he is now.

A young man who I wish could see himself as a young man too, so that maybe one day he would get to experience what it’s like to be one.

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20 Responses to The Young Man He Is and Isn’t

  1. I have a 16 yr old boy, and sometimes I get to say good night to him, and sometimes I face a closed door. Sometimes he talks and other times he grunts, or he doesn’t communicate at all. He so badly wants to be grown up, he wants to be an adult and have freedom, and feels encumbered by the fact that he’s only 16. He wants to sit and talk and tell me all about his day and in the next breath I’m too involved in his life. And I too, sit here and wish he could see the wonderful man I see, and recognize the man he is becoming. πŸ™‚ Different paths. Different struggles. Still united with you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kate@Did That Just Happen gave almost exactly the response I came on here to give……everyone has their struggles and most of them are more similar than we realize. Some of them have names like autism and others just muddle through thinking we’re “normal.” Well, normal is what we live…..your normal is different than ours, but we’re facing alot of the same struggles even though I know you have a few extras in your load. Hang in there with things..not only is it all you can do, but there are rewards for all the different normals out there. Promise.

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    • mewhoami says:

      The different normals – I like that. *Normal* doesn’t exist. Everyone is different and you are right, that even though our paths and struggles may be different in some way, we all have them. Although, I wish that my son could be a typical teen (well maybe not will all things) , I love him for exactly who he is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. George says:

    I can’t imagine what you must feel and think about on a daily basis. I’m sure this passing thought has passed through your mind many times before in different ways and times. I pray one day you get your wish…for both of you.

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    • mewhoami says:

      It has, many times. It wasn’t until the other day though that I was able to visualize him as the young man he is. It was a happy, yet sad moment for me. I just want the best that life has to offer him, but I know that he will be (and already is) successful in his own way. Thank you – I pray so too.

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  4. tric says:

    There must be an element of mourning for the child you do not have and what he has missed, but then as you always seem to so elequently express, he is what he is and that has it’s own wonder and magic.
    This was a really thought provoking post that I as a mother really identified with. I hope he gets to be that young man some day. With you I believe he will.

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    • mewhoami says:

      There is and has always been a sense of mourning. I feel like we both missed out on so much, yet at the same time however, we both enjoyed a side of life that many people never will/can’t. So although it is saddening, (some days more than others) I am so very thankful for him and the young man that is growing up to be. Thank you, Tric.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like Tric’s comment…. “he is what he is and that has it’s own wonder and magic.” It really sums up what you express here. You do a remarkable job with your words at getting us to ‘see’ your life, your son’s life, and feel the struggles and the joys of it. Thank you for sharing all that you do.

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  6. Have you ever read a post that you really want to comment on, but you don’t know what to say? This is one of those posts for me. All I can think of is this: having great hopes and dreams for my three little boys, your words really touched me. May all your best dreams for your son come true.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I know exactly what you mean. πŸ™‚ Thank you. Being a parent, I know that you understand. We all want what is best for our children and their future. The unknown is a bit scary for all of us. I wish the best for your boys.

      Like

  7. NotAPunkRocker says:

    What everyone else said. Seriously, they all said exactly what I am thinking, ahead of me. It is a time for us and them to grow and figure things out, for sure. ❀

    Like

  8. DailyMusings says:

    I can only imagine it is hard to see him reach the chronological age, but not follow along with what other boys his age are doing. He will mature in his own way, He may not have the same hopes and dreams like others, but hopefully he will come to a place where he is content with what he is doing. ❀

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  9. April says:

    I second everyone’s comments on this post. Is your son happy? That’s all that counts.

    Like

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