Happy 4th Everyone! Or all 2 of you who might actually read this blog.

So yesterday was the 4th of July and I had family over. The plan was to go to the high school to watch the township fireworks. But we then remembered just how terrible the traffic was to get out of there so we opted to go to a park with an open field where we could see the fireworks from afar, without the crowds. But my Anthony had been texting a friend and found out that a group of them were going to the high school and he really wanted to go. We compromised and we dropped him off there and we went to the field.

Years ago, he would have never texted friends to see where they were going, let alone actually get upset at the thought that he might not be able to join them. His biggest difficulties have always been socially. That was the one thing that I never thought would go away. But he started hanging out with one kid last year, and then got to know some that that kid’s friends, and subsequently maneuvered his way into that group. Now I can finally say that he has a group of friends which he hangs out with and has become much more social. He doesn’t feel as awkward around his peers as he used to and it’s such an amazing thing to see. And such a relief. I used to worry that he would lead a very lonely life.

This winter he went to several parties, he went to support his friends in school talent shows, sports, etc. Even if he doesn’t participate in them, he attends for his friends. He became friends with a lot of Seniors and wasn’t afraid to ask for a ride home when he needed (which made me very nervous but I knew it was something I had to get over) and he just blossomed socially. He’s still somewhat of a homebody but I’ve noticed that his friends are too.

I did push him. I used to tell him to ask his friends to the movies and ask what their plans were for the weekend. I REALLY pushed. And then I’d let it go. And then I’d push, and then I’d let it go. And he finally did it at his own pace. He said that social media made him much more aware that kids his age were getting together and doing things and he wasn’t. And that made him want to. I just had to TRY to make him feel more comfortable. He used to tell me that he would barely talk around friends because he was afraid they’d think what he had to say was stupid. So I would say “well, do you think what they have to say is mind blowing? Of course not, but you don’t think they’re stupid for it. So why would they think that of you. You’re not an alien.”

Don’t know if anything I said or did made any difference but at least he knew that it was important to me that he learned how to be social. And he did. In his own time…when it became important enough to him. And I couldn’t be more happy for him.

Hope, love and patience,

Janice

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