Abe and I went down to Providence overnight and stayed with one of my second cousins. She has a lovely, historic house (with a pool), a nice job, a nice husband and 2 teenage boys. The younger of the boys is one day older than Rosie (15.5 yo) and the other is 10 month older than him. But, oy, I wouldn't exchange my world for hers.
Neither of the boys listen at all to their mom and barely at all to their dad. I know, a lot of that is just normal teenage stuff, but this household is rampantly out of control!
The older son is PDD, just like Abe- but also very different. Max is a lot more social than Abe was at 16, but then again, he's already been in a residential program for several years. (Unlike Abe who just has done 1 year.) Max is an electrical genius and he's working for an electrician this summer, but since there was no work this week, he has completely turned his schedule around- sleeping a lot during the day and prowling around at night.
The younger son, Alec hates his brother and won't even accept a hand-me-down pair of shorts from him! This kid has anxiety attacks and just wants to stay inside all summer.
But both boys were totally normal in that I was able to get them to do things that they never would have done for their own parents. I got Max out of bed on Sunday morning (at least long enough to have a little conversation with me and then come down to get a cup of milk). He even went out walking with Abe, me and my cousin the night before. I didn't give him an option, you see. I just told him to get his jacket and come with us. Probably the peer pressure of Abe coming along had a lot to do with that, actually.
I got Alec to sit at the table with all of us eating dinner (well, he ate something else, but he sat). And I got him to select clothes for a trip that he was taking the next morning.
Meanwhile, Abe is behaving great and taking part in conversations (with the adults) but also playing video games with the boys. My cousin was so encouraged for her boys to see mine doing so well. So just remember, when you see someone with a life that you envy, you probably don't know the real story.
(p.s.- Abe finally started his internship, and he loves it!!! he even knows the name of his lab-mates!)