Noah...my little man....you are growing up for sure....you are getting taller and a mind of your own. You inform me you plan or wish to move out when you are 18. I can't say much...I was the same when I was growing up...and swore as SOON as I turned 18 I would be moving out...and I DID just that..but my life at home was TONS more stressful than what you have here at home. This does not "hurt" my feelings really as I believe this should be ALL parents' goals...to bring their children up in such as way that they cannot wait to get out and fly the nest with their wings spread way out wide and be independent...etc.
BUT (there is always a but isn't there?)....I am anxious about it all. I do hope and more importantly PRAY you will be MORE than able to be successful at whatever you desire in life ..and can move out when you want and be more than fine...but currently you are all about being on your computer basically during any waking hour...and not stopping and going to bed at a decent hour. I know you think you should pretty much decide for yourself even now...your own schedule and what you do...etc..and I pretty much do allow you to do that. I don't mind you staying up late most nights as then you are still sleeping in the daytime when I work and that just works out best for us both.
BUT...staying up till 4:30 a.m. or later is TOO late! It does not matter that you don't get up then till 2:00 a.m.! You miss so much more that life has to offer shut up in your room all the time ....not hardly ever coming out for anything other than eating (as I now make you eat at the table and NOT in your room)...so I see you then. There are also times I just say we ARE going to do this or that or go here or there and make you get ready and go too....and times you do want to go places. You are legally old enough to be left at home alone but I do not feel comfortable doing that...you still have many emotionally immature thoughts...running parallel with those grown-up moments and thoughts. What a mish-mash of emotions growing up can cause.
SO...now I have to give a consequence for you continuing to not listen or go to bed at a decent hour. I mean I let you stay up now till 1:00 a.m. through the week and on weekends 2:00 or even 2:30 a.m. I think that is PLENTY late enough for a 13-year-old boy. I know you will soon be getting even older and then wanting to do more of whatever it is you want to do...but...I think you have to learn to be somewhat disciplined and set some limits. I have come up with the consequence you lose 1 hour of PC time for each hour you are up past a decent bedtime. I believe this will work as I have done this before and it worked.
Otherwise...this has all made me think about a lot of things. Like how I am already almost feeling like I live alone, and you have already moved out...since you are in the house and here..but not really out here with me much doing anything anymore. I can hear you in the background making noises...and doing "your thing" in the bedroom on the computer...but I have to wonder if you are not also missing out on a lot more things....well, in fact you are...and then I am too I guess. I am going to be making some changes this summer to help you break out of this pattern you are in. You will still be allowed to do time in your room but...I will be pulling you out to go on field trips and work on projects here at home...and coming out more often from your room than you do now.
AND ..I have been wondering what life will be like for ME when you do move out. I have devoted my life to you since you were born...especially once I found out you had autism and a lot of issues to deal with when you were little. AND I did this because I WANTED TO....do NOT misunderstand me. I WANTED to change my entire life around so I could be here for you 100%! Nothing else was acceptable to me. AND so I did just that! You have since overcome many of those challenges you had when you were little but still have a ways to go. While contemplating your being successful and being able to manage everything out on your own....I have to ask myself, "where will that leave me?" lol. I mean I used to not have "any" free time...as ALL my time outside of my full-time job was spent with you....teaching you things....prompting you..redirecting you....teaching you how to handle "changes"...etc. How to just "BE" in this world...as it was very difficult for you and chaotic for you. Now when I am done with work and school with you...I have TONS of free time. This is almost a foreign feeling to me....as I have gone basically 13 years without really spending much time on things I might have wanted to do.
I am slowly finding things to fill up my time..mostly doing artwork and being creative, BUT..child support only lasts so long....same with your SSI money...and I will need to find ways to compensate that income one day. I am not really worried there as we are not currently receiving SSI for you anyway...but the child support will be something..I will definitely need to be debt free by the time you turn 19 or so...in case child support stops. Your dad has always said he would continue paying child support as long as you needed extra help with income (and it is even in our divorce decree)..but...I am wishing to avoid depending or counting on that one day...and that would be YOUR money then anyway..not mine. You would need it to help YOU pay YOUR own bills then if you are out on your own. I work full time still from home and I love my job...but do not make a lot of money at it. So debt needs to decrease for me in the future or my income should increase or both actually. MY body is also not always cooperating with me these days...making even simple everyday things extremely difficult for me...so I have to wonder how long I can function doing things owning a home...etc.
I know this is all part of growing up...you getting older....spreading those wings to fly....and taking off to being your own life somewhere...and I am already wondering about that empty nest...and would I really need such a big house or all this stuff anymore...etc. Probably not...or how would I even manage keeping it up..you know? After all, as YOU get older so will I. This can be almost depressing. lol
SO I have a lot on my mind right now...wondering what I will do or where I might end up or where you will be one day...what you will do for a living...if you will be safe...etc. Do moms though ever stop wondering about those things?
Hey..maybe you can design a cool house for yourself with a patch of land somewhere on your property to build me a tiny house....I would not be up in your business but yet close by if you needed me...or I needed something maybe from you. You have mentioned this to me before...about me having like a garage apartment for YOU in my home....so you would have your own place...but still be close to me in case you needed things...probably like a meal other than eating out! lol.
You are NOT happy thinking about how one day you might have to HELP your mom do anything in life and have told me you wish to GET OUT before you had to do anything like that. I have to admit that is pretty hurtful...but you are 13 and have autism, and have never really cared or thought about what all you say and how it might make someone else feel. That was something we had to teach you and in fact, I still am teaching you. I know you have said you could HIRE someone to help me if I needed it..so I guess that is all that is important. I have to wonder though if I would ever see you again once you moved out. I would certainly hope so..but you really seem pretty fine even now all on your own and even talk about moving to another state...even one where you have no relatives.
Mixed emotions...mixed drama....everything is just a mix right now for you and me both...and you are only 13! In 5 years you will be 18...hard to believe....but we are going to start working on life skills this summer...so I can better prepare you for that big world of "reality" one day coming up sooner than I can even imagine.
I love you Noah....I know you love me too....and you certainly do NOT owe me anything...but I do hope one day you can be thankful for me and our time together...and hope you have some memories and are not filled with regret one day for all the things we could have done but did not.