It’s true, I am a creature of habit. Even when I greet my wife and son when I am home at a reasonable hour and they are still up I usually ask the same question. It is true when we each go about our day we all have our own separate lives and we do our necessary routines. I go off to work so I can make a living, perform as a professional for my employer and their clients and pay the bills. Matty goes off to school so he can get a good education, learn and become responsible and make friends. Maria goes off to work so she can help the disabled who rely on her services. Grandma stays home so she can watch a friend’s 4 year old daughter and our son when he gets home from school. We all have our responsibilities and we are preoccupied with our roles. It is sometimes difficult to be apart but the separation is good because it makes the times we are all together that much more special. So when I do get to share time with my wife and son and mother-in-law the first thing I always ask is So, How was your day? It is a simple question and it is also a boring question but it is how I try to initiate conversation with my wife and son. I truly do care how my wife and son did during the day and that is why I ask the question.
Sometimes I wish life could be more exciting but it is what it is and we have to get used to our ways. We can make changes in our lives to enhance and get more out of our lives but the realities of life dictate the things we must do and we all need to take responsibility in our lives and do all we can to get the most out of life. We hold the key and we control what we do. This is what we try to impress upon our son so he doesn’t feel limited or get discouraged. When we are going about our lives we try not to lose sight of the things that are most important. We all know we are all individuals and we are all responsible for ourselves when we come of age. We are Matty’s parents and we will always be his support system but we know one day he will have to grow into adulthood and we want this transition to be a smooth and successful one. We want our son to have every opportunity he deserves and to have fulfilling friendships and relationships.
I know that when I am working during the day I am very responsible and I am performing my role and I am also thinking about my wife and my son. Having a son who is autistic and epileptic does cause genuine concern when we are apart because we have our concerns for his health and safety. Our son’s needs are more extensive and his class and education is structured in a way that suits his diagnosis and the teachers are very accommodating and supportive.
One thing I am noticing about my son which is a step in the right direction is that he is now starting to open up and express himself and that is a big step for an autistic child. He has even surprised me when he has initiated conversation with me. For the longest time he never did and I felt I literally had to pull the words out of him. He also enjoys music and singing and we are encouraged by this. I am happy when Matty comes up to me and tells me how his day was. Sometimes he is very animated and excited and that is my hope. I want Matty to find each day exciting and with positive experiences.
It seems the years go by in a flash as our son is now 11 years old and he is starting to speak his feelings and express his loneliness and boredom. I know as a kid growing up I too had moments when I also felt lonely and bored. I believe all kids go through this and it is a normal part of growing up but we want those times to be limited and we want our children to be happy and content most of the time. During the school year kids should be busy with their studies that they don’t have time to be bored. I also realize it is essential that our son has exposure to activities outside of the classroom as well so he can become well rounded and make friendships. That is very important and I know that was a big part of my childhood.
So when I ask my son how his day was and my wife for that matter it is because I love them and I miss them and I want to know how things were for them. Life is hard enough when we are apart so when we are together that is the time when we must interact and ask these silly questions sometimes.
Edward D. Iannielli III