Sometimes You Have To Go With The Jealousy Card (G-uno)
Being an 10-year old boy in this day comes with a great deal of life challenges, but being an 10 -year the boy with Autism is a completely different animal. “Little Man’s” mother has gone back to college to get her B.A. so much to my delight I get to spend more time with my favorite trio-Little Man, Big Brother, & The Baby (otherwise known as “The King”), Monday’s belong to “Little Man.”
Each brother is uniquely different from the other. “Little Man” recently turned 10, his first double digit birthday so his family celebrated in a huge way. I was unable to be at the celebration because of all our wedding related events, so I took “Little Man” out to try to make up for my not being there with him on his big day. The great thing about this kid is that he was so happy to hang out without sharing me with his brothers that I was easily pardoned.
He, and I share a bond that goes beyond mutual admiration, we are great friends. Even with his Autism we have a very emotional connection (something quite rare in children with Autism). I think it’s simply because we get each other. We enjoy hanging out because we can both be exactly who we are with each other. I believe that he has been responsible for as much of my personal growth as I have been for his.
So we grabbed a bite to eat at our favorite seafood place, “Little Man’s” diet is extremely difficult. He is allergic to soy, dairy, and gluten so fresh vegetables, and meat are pretty much all we can go for. It’s funny because he has a really huge appreciation for food because of his many dietary restrictions. He’s very sharp about maintaining his strict diet. He also loves going to this particular seafood restaurant because it’s not something his family can afford on a regular basis, and “The King” usually dictates the family meals with his extremely limited pallet.
As I sat there watching him devour his second entree of shrimp, I couldn’t help but notice how much his face has changed. He just looked so much more grown-up. he told me that he had never been to a wedding, or a funeral. He wanted to know what we did at my daughter’s wedding. He as always been fascinated with graveyards (he loves Halloween), then he stopped eating, and asked me if I knew that his dog had died? I looked at his sad little face, and told him yes.
Children with Autism are generally known for their inability to express or deal with the emotional responses of others. In many cases it’s something they have to be shown how to react to, and deal with it any social setting. In this moment his sadness over the death of his dog overrode his Autistic tendencies, he was a little boy overcome with emotion. I slid next to him on the bench seat, and he buried his little face into my shoulder. My heart broke for him in this moment, I needed to do something to lessen his pain.
So I told him he was lucky to have something he loved so much, and when he didn’t quite pick up on that I quickly followed up with a “Hey do you want to really drive your brother’s crazy? Let’s go play putt-putt golf, get some frozen yogurt!” 😉
There is two of us actually, G-uno and g2. We have been friends for a while, met through our own similarities in duality, openness and love of listening. Our differences as well as our similarities always border on the extreme.