Once a Mom
Moms showing affection for kids seems natural. Yet sometimes, it feels like public displays of affection are regarded as too personal or demonstrative.
Some children on the autism spectrum have a difficult time showing affection, much less receiving it, at least some of the time. From when he was little, on the occasions when my severely autistic son is open to a hug or holding hands, I make sure to enjoy those moments.
My son is now a young man in his early twenties. He recently started attending a special needs day program for adults. He’s taller than me and outweighs me by thirty pounds. No matter how old he gets, I’m happy to receive any smiles or affection he’s willing to share.
Do people think it’s odd if I hold hands with my twenty-something son as we walk into his program site? Am I being too much of a mom if I help him fix a piece of clothing gone awry? Or pat him reassuringly on the shoulder? Should I keep more distance to not look like I’m babying him?
On a recent morning as I walked my son up the long ramp from the parking area to his program, I saw another mom standing by a car with a young man. Her special needs son looked to be around thirty years old. She gently adjusted his backpack, fixed his hair, gave him a kiss on the forehead, and sent him toward the building entrance with a loving wave and a smile.
A mom is still a mom, even if our kids get older. I no longer feel silly for walking arm in arm with my son up that ramp in the morning.
For this week’s Hike Notes, I’m sharing a hike from the archives, Fort Mason Stairs to Hyde Street Pier. The photo for this Insights post is from aboard one of the historic ships at Hyde Street Pier.
The long list of Hikes can be found on the Quick View Hike List and on the main Hikes page. All past Insights posts can also be viewed in the Insights/Hike Update News archives.
Check the Home page for the broader background story. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photo galleries at the bottom of each hike page! Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections. Please feel free to share.
This week’s Hike Notes from the Archives:
(Original Hike Notes 58): Fort Mason Stairs to Hyde Street Pier
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.