and the roller coaster plummets

While all of my children have spring fever and have taken to doing their homework while sitting on the trampoline, Tommy has been infected with a major case of senior-itis. He is happy to the point of giddy except when he has to be a student. Skip back three years. Tommy’s freshman year in high school, he would change classes on auto-pilot. He stared silently at the ground and touched every single locker between one class and the next. His feet shuffled on the ground like a ride at Disney and he bulldozed through the other students. It was very inappropriate behavior and developmentally wrong. By his sophomore year, our constant request that he pick his feet up resulted in a Frankenstein stomp instead of the shuffle. Progress, but still wrong. This year, he zips off to meet his friends between classes. They talk and laugh and get in trouble for playing when they should be in a classroom. Yes, the behavior is inappropriate, but it’s developmentally on target! Tommy isn’t getting scolded for being an Aspie, he’s getting in trouble for being a 17-year-old boy. I wish I could call the other teens’ parents and praise them for raising children who can see past Tommy’s eccentricities and focus on the things that make him a really great person. I want to hug those boys every time I see them smiling and interacting with Tommy, but eww, Mom cooties would be embarrassing. Half the voices in my head are having a party about this behavior while the other half are tsk-tsking and shaking their heads. School is just a place to go hang with friends to Tommy right now. That’s wrong. He is too smart to be so casual and unconcerned about his classes. No, I’m not shouting, “Hooray! Tommy is being naughty.” I just have trouble being upset with Tommy when I am so happy for him.

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