It’s 6pm and the chili is cooking, which I know he will not try, the hamburgers are grilling- which he will eat only the meat of, nothing else- and the TV is on with all the pregame hoopla blaring from the surround sound speakers. My boy is antsy. Football is not his thing, but he is sitting there because well… I asked him to.
ME: “I know you don’t like football Jay and that is fine. You don’t have to watch it. But a lot of people will be talking about this game tomorrow so I would like you to at least see what they will be talking about. Think of it as research.”
That peaks his curiosity a little bit.
Hubby: ” At least know who is playing. Just watch 5 minutes so you can say you watched it and then you can go upstairs and watch your programs, okay?”
My boy agrees reluctantly, and sits down to try to figure out what the fuss is all about. He identifies which teams are playing, who is performing at half time and then he is off to watch Doctor Who in the safety of his own room.
And so it goes. Yet another example of the high wire act we perform with Jay in an effort to keep our boy engaged, present in the here and now but still stay true to himself. Some may say that hubby and I are wrong. But I don’t think so. Because of these attempts, our son has been able to broaden his interest. These attempts at exposing him to current things have actually been the thing that has allowed our son to make more friends. He is able to understand more what the kids at school are talking about, even contribute to their conversation.
Yet, some how every time we push, I can’t help but feel that perhaps this is wrong. What if it goes the other way. After all we are teetering on a small wire when we do this. The last thing I want to do is wobble that wire and make my boy fall.
So instead, I strap on a safety wire and we push a little bit and if that is okay we push a little bit more. One foot in front of the other praying that he ends safely on the other side, but knowing we are the big safety net at the bottom there to catch him if he falls!
It’s just another game we have learned to play because of Autism.
This morning Jay came down to breakfast and inquired as to who won and what the score was. I could not help but smile. I think my boy gets it. I also think that this time we landed safely on the other side!