Now Reading: "If It Wasn't For That One Thing…"

"If It Wasn't For That One Thing…"

P”If it wasn’t for that one thing…”

The wife and I find ourselves saying that phrase a lot lately. 
“If it wasn’t for that one thing….”
We try to give our son Kyle more independence as he gets older.
The independence we are striving for is partially to make him a better, more self-sufficient person and partially, selfishly to make our job as parents easier. 
And things that used to be difficult years ago for many different reasons have now gotten easier. 
And we could almost let him have his complete independence in many situations “if it wasn’t for that one thing”
Here’s a few examples from the past few weeks. 
We went to an outdoor backyard party at another autism family’s house a few weeks back. They have a ton of playground equipment in their backyard and wifey and I kept our distance and his Majesty was playing appropriately on their playground stuff for long periods of time. 

And wifey and I stayed on their deck quite far away and let him do his thing… I actually had a beer!  And all was kinda right with the world… “if it wasn’t for that one thing” 
He kept trying to eat the playground chips on the floor of their playground. 

This playground had those chips made of those recycled tires. 
Then we went to the Jersey shore a few times this summer and went to the beach and the king had a grand old time and we could sit in our seats and leave him be for the most part “if it wasn’t for that one thing” …he was throwing sand. 
In the past he would pick up sand and drop it over and over and over which we learned to live with but this year he decided that he wanted to throw the sand too.  So anytime he got anywhere near another human being wifey or I had to intercede and redirect him. 
And then we come up to our upstate NY Lake vacation and we check into our room and he’s acting quite independently and he’s quite self-sufficient bouncing on his ball and choosing  videos on iPad. So independent, that wifey and I think we have the time to leave him be and unpack for the week. And “if it wasn’t for that one thing” we could’ve done that. 
The one thing here was just putting all the nastiest stuff in his mouth. The few things with the most germs that you wouldn’t want your kids to put in their mouth from a hotel room. 

The remote control, the telephone, the room key, the couch cushions.
And then we go down to the lake, the lake we’ve been coming to every year, and yay he’s not throwing sand here… 
We can leave him be and let him do his usual sand stim on the lip of the water.  We can sit and not pester our 12 year old son every 15 seconds…”if it wasn’t for that one thing”…
This year, for the first year ever, he discovered the rocks in the lake. He wants to throw them, and eat them!
So every 25 seconds it’s “put the rock down buddy”,  “don’t throw the rock buddy”,  “not in your mouth buddy”
Those are the 4 examples that I remembered but there’s tons more. I feel like we are always saying “if it wasn’t for that one thing” lately.  
And don’t get me wrong, this whole idea of “if it wasn’t for that one thing” can be viewed as a positive. 
In many of those situations there used to be 10 things. And now based on Kyle maturing some and wifey and I maturing some and learning not to sweat the small stuff it’s down to one thing. 
So going from 10 things down to one thing is a positive…
But boy oh boy if it wasn’t for that one thing things would be so much easier!!!
What are some of your “if it wasn’t for that one thing” moments?

Written by

Frank Campagna

I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).

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2 People Replies to “"If It Wasn't For That One Thing…"”

  1. Our major 'one thing' is eloping. Son just had surgery so he's in dual leg casts, but he can walk around. We had family over this past weekend. My dad asked me to step outside with everyone else. I declined. Big man is inside, I can't, either myself or my husband must always be with him or else who knows where he'll be. Needless to say I got looked at like I was a bit crazy but I have to remember if you don't understand eloping you just don't know. He's got his other issues sure but that is 'if it wasn't for that one thing….'

  2. My son loves beach and spends hours but once he is in the water he either turns right or left and keep going parallel to beach so we walk out of the beach a good 20 blocks from where we entered, if not for that one thing I could read a book on the beach while watching him have fun 🙂