Seriously, no one mentioned (and I never thought) to begin planning for Simon’s post-secondary life when he was three. I mean, I know there are those parents – and we were almost those parents – who begin saving for college the minute their kid is born, but how can you know what your child will be like when they’re an adult?
I have nothing against saving money for a potential future, but to begin planning for your child’s potential career or adulthood when they’re three?
Does anyone know what they’ll be when they’re three?
Can you really know what someone will be like when they’re 18 or 21 when they’re only three years old?
My answer is no. When I was three, I think I was most interested in doing things like squishing slugs (yes, that’s for real – my parents tried to expose me to the glory that was nature by pointing out a slug, and my immediate response was to gasp and squish the heck outta it under my thick-soled shoe), playing on the swings, and eating yogurt (because as a three-year-old I was convinced yogurt was where it was at, and my parents had to lie to me to get me to eat ice cream).
I think my examples are a pretty good reason why it’s not good to begin planning for a three-year old. If my parents had planned my life based on that, I would have been a hippie exterminator with a giant swing set in my back yard. As it turns out, only one of those things is true. I’ll let you figure it out.
Anyway, I still feel guilty about it, but I also feel like maybe that’s a bit too soon. Should I have started looking at his future before now? Maybe. But we still don’t know where he’ll be in one year, much less five years. Since he’s not following a “normal” path, why guess? Why assume?
I’m not saying it’s bad to dream or to hope for the best, but why always plan for the absolute worst? Not to be picky, but you might have a neurotypical child, something might go wrong, and suddenly you’re in the position or picking a care home for them when they’re 14 or 18. If parents of neurotypical children don’t assume their kids will need care for life, why should we assume that? Our children have the same chances, hopes, and dreams…why not figure out how to work with them instead?