Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

Oedipus, Party of One?


Our oldest begins college this fall. Fortunately, she is attending uni in the same city we’ll be PCSing to in just a couple of weeks. And, even more fortunate (for me), she’ll be living at home for at least the first year. We were trying to explain the all too sad fact that one day she will leave home to AJ. Cue five year old anxiety attack.

AJ became very concerned that was moving out. He thought I was leaving him. We tried several different ways to explain that Alex, the college girl, used to be little like our new baby Gracie, then she grew bigger like the boys, and finally she turned into the very big college girl that she is now. That someday soon, she will want her own house; her own things, a spouse, children (to which she made gagging noises and pretended to dry heave). We tried telling AJ that one day, he too, would be big like Alex. And that he would want to have his own house; his own things, his own wife, his own children.

Yeah, that went over like a lead balloon.

Somehow, all that translated into the “fact” that I was going to be abandoning AJ forever. Seeing the anxiety in his eyes and hearing the stress in his voice, we back pedaled like mad. We told him first and foremost that I would never, ever leave him. That he could live with us forever and ever – as long as he wanted. We talked about growing and aging. He seems to be very confused. Asked when he would be a baby again.

AJ told us that Gracie and Alex, and I could all live with him. He was really adamant about that. Forever. My husband was listening to this entire conversation, chuckling every once in a while. Finally, after AJ outlined who would live with him, for maybe the twentieth time, my husband said, “What about me, AJ? Can I live with you?”

AJ ignored him and kept listing the people who could live with him: me, Alex and baby Gracie. He asked if, when he was big enough, he could sleep in my bed.

Again, my husband asked if he could live with us.


Finally, AJ looked at my husband and said, “Yes. You going on you ship again soon?”


Kelly is a Navy wife and mother to three children; 16 year old NT, 6 and 5 year old boys on the spectrum, and a beautiful perfect-to-her baby girl. Kelly has been featured in a collection of essays on special needs children entitled, “Wit and Wisdom From the Parents of Special Needs Children.” She can also be found at, and as a guest blogger throughout the blog-iverse. In her spare time, Kelly is the Blog Master for, and member of, the Military Special Needs Network Executive Board. You can contact her via email at

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This entry was posted on July 26, 2013 by in Special Needs Parenting Challenges and tagged , , , .
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