A few weeks ago, one of my new friends in recovery told me “Enabling is Disabling.” I thought doing things my son, Alex, could do for himself was me showing love, so I often:
- Helped/did his homework
- Picked up his toys because I didn’t mind
- Tied his shoes even though he knew how
Instead, I was on the path to disabling my son.
In the last year, I’ve taken many small steps to liberate my child. We both face each new task with trepidation. Sometimes one or both of us grumble, and sometimes there's protest. Sometimes one or both of us need a time out, but we've both made a ton of progress. I've learned not helping and letting him figure it out is showing love. He’s learned how to:
- Make his bed
- Cut his own food
- Wash and fold his laundry
- Make himself a sandwich
- Use the microwave
His latest accomplishment is making a delicious chocolate cupcake for one. Leslie created this amazing recipe, a chocolaty composite of many online versions, and shared it with us in the office. It’s so quick and simple even a 12 year-old can make it. The best part of this recipe isn’t the lack of flour or oil – it’s hearing my son open the cabinet doors, rifle through the cupboards, open the microwave, and take care of himself. The best part is when he comes up to me afterwards with a huge smile on his face to show me what he just "baked." And to think I almost deprived us both of this amazing moment.
Microwave Mug Cupcake
In a microwave-safe coffee cup, add:
- One egg
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar
Mix together with a fork. Microwave for 50 seconds. Let cool and enjoy. Top with frosting, or add chocolate chips for a less healthy version. I make mine with only 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, and it's still delicious.