Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wandering Hands

The notice came home from school in his communication log yesterday. Our older son had groped a couple female staff members during the day.

Sigh. I can't say that I was shocked. I had seen the signs. They started small a couple years ago when we participated in family swim time at our local Y. Because he is a high risk for bolting, particularly at the Y, I would have to change in the same dressing stall as he. I was always very discreet. After all, I didn't like it one bit. However, one day I noticed that he liked it---A LOT. No matter which way I turned, he turned to get a better look. The more he looked, the more he giggled.

There was no mistake about it: our son was a breast man. It creeped me out.

I told my husband as soon as I could, and I've never changed near our boys again. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

That seemed to work for a while. After all, the child had faced health problems since then--GI pain and depression. He changed schools and teachers. We all forgot about the incident and began in earnest to find some peace for this child who always seemed to be in turmoil.

When he began taking an anti-depressant, I was able to touch my child for the first time. It couldn't be sudden, and it had to mostly be on his terms; however, more than ever, I felt as though I could be a mother to him. I could kiss the top of his head (never his cheek), and I could hold his hand. What a gift this was. And, as time moved on and we refined medications to better suit his issues, his affection toward me increased.

Affection toward others increased as well, particularly affection toward pretty ladies. Our son began reaching toward pretty girls to kiss them on the cheek. He got away with it, too, because most people are too polite to turn away a mentally challenged young boy wanting a kiss. I would watch, just thinking how the perception of that act would change in time. It worried me. I asked school that we start shaping that behavior by not letting him kiss his teachers and therapists. Save the kisses for mommy, I decided.

Within the past six months, I've noticed that he will come to me regularly for hugs and kisses. When we are sitting, he'll put his arms around my neck and squeeze hard. It is an official hug. No rules. No restrictions. And, when I'm standing, he'll walk over to me, put his arms around my waist and bury his head into me.

That is when I started to wonder. I appreciated it, but, ummmm, was there something more to that hug? He is just the right height so that his head hits my chest. A mother certainly does not like to think of such things; however, I MUST. it is my job! As he grows, people will stop viewing him as a cute boy wanting cuddles and start seeing him as a creepy teen.

I couldn't let that happen.

Any doubt I had about his standing hugs were put to rest when he stopped putting his arms around my waist and started putting them, well, ahem, you know...

THAT'S IT!! My mind was racing. I'm conservative. I'm shy. I'm a LADY. Oh, good gosh, I WAS FREAKING OUT!!!!

Knowing that wasn't going to get me anywhere, I took a deep breath and moved his hands, telling him that this is never appropriate. Never, ever do this. Okay, sure, there are times when this is okay, but, give me a break. I was not ready to have a sex talk with this child.

OMG! Do I have to have a sex talk with this child???!!!

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. That is what I did. And, then, the note came home from school.

There is never a dull moment with parenting, and I am finding that my weakest attributes are the very characteristics that my children challenge the most. Yay for me! So, I'm going to take the weekend to come to terms with this one, and then, tackle on Monday the issue of autism and the birds and the bees.

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