I’ll Remember to Forget

Josh and I find ourselves in a new stage of our relationship as mother and son. I am now middle-aged and he is a young adult. My goal, as always, is to encourage Josh to greater independence in his use of strategies to help his weak executive functions. His goal is to use me as his favorite strategy, since Mom can be counted on to have a suggested solution she has already thought of and thus save him the work of coming up with a strategy on his own. Add to that dynamic the demands I have on my brain to work as a speech therapist, run a small business with my husband, homeschool Josh’s youngest sister, participate in church and volunteer activities, and keep track of appointments, etc. and I find myself feeling challenged to remember everything I need to keep track of. Usually, when I think of something I need to remember I write it down in my planner or on my calendar so I have a written reminder and don’t have to retain it in my memory alone. At this point, I think if I want to try and remember something new I will need to delete some files in my brain to make room. So when Josh and I were driving together on our way to volunteer at our local Humane Society last week, I remembered something I needed to do later that day. Since I was driving, I couldn’t write it down. I also sometimes call home and leave myself a message on the answering machine for later, but this particular day my daughter Beckie was home and would recognize my number and answer the phone. Since I didn’t want to have to prompt her through writing down a detailed message, I opted to try and solicit help from Josh. I explained that I needed to remember to do something when we got back home, and asked him to remind me of it when we returned home so I could take care of it. He grinned at me and said, “O.k., Mom, I’ll remember to forget that, too!” So, just as I want to discourage Josh from using me as his default strategy to remember things he needs to do, I clearly cannot plan on having Josh as part of my own bank of strategies.

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