Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What I got for my birthday

Most of us communicate for various reasons: break the ice, test the waters, lighten the mood, make an impression. Aspies usually communicate for one reason: to get facts from one head into another.

I hear a lot about mizzenmasts, jibs, foresails, and rigging around here from my son. Yesterday, he and I found online a photo of a seven-masted schooner and a labelled diagram of a barque, and he never tires of explaining what makes their sails different.

My daughter isn't a talker, but same communication principal applies. If it's not new information, it's not worth saying.

"Good morning, G. It's time for breakfast."
"I know. We always eat when I wake up."

"I have a secret: I love you, sweetie."
"I already knew that too."

This morning, when my husband whispered in her ear, "It's mommy's birthday," G frowned and said, "I know."

He whispered back, "I told you so you could say something to mommy."

Annoyed, she blurted, "Why? She already knows too!"

So, this year, my family gave me the same thing they always do: the gift of laughter! And it fits me perfectly.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

A place for everything, and everyday thanks in this place

Every family has it: the room you don't ever want anyone to see, the room where junk goes to get happy. For some, it's the laundry or spare room; for others, the garage. For us, it's the kids' bedrooms.

This week, K and I tackled it. His grandpa Schellenberg built him a beautiful maple desk and dresser a couple weeks ago, so in addition to the usual carpet of Lego and books, K's old desk drawers full of drawings were still sitting on his floor. Those drawings finally had a ready home: a sturdy, hanging folder file drawer; they just needed someone brave enough to sort them.

Yesterday, we made folders and labelled them "air crafts," "sailing ships," "space crafts," "creatures," "plans" (for experiments and inventions; no world domination allowed) and "stories." After we made it through the desk drawers, I pulled out the Rubbermaids from under his bed, and today, the boxes from his closet. 

He's a pack rat (something he inherited from his mother), who's been known to lie awake at night crying about objects he's thrown out or lost. He collects rocks, shells, feathers, key chains, bookmarks, keys, coins, cars, motorcycles, helicopters, books, and Lego, but his drawings are probably his most precious possessions. I was amazed: the kid was a trooper, working for two hours a day, calling out "throw away," "air craft," "throwaway," "throwaway," with only a few sighs and no tears.

We even had a few laughs. Some of the drawings he refused to let me throw away six years ago now look pretty silly. There was one of him that read "Kieran is a special boy" in his printing at the top, but the self portrait looked like a three-fingered green bean. Then, there was a story that went, "A sales man at a plain store wore a plain face. He had poked his waist so he was late for work and that's the end." - that had us in stitches.

But the funniest page was found was a typed note like this: It is nice to say hi to people. People say hi when they pass someone in the hallway. People say hi when they meet someone new. Saying hi makes other people feel good. I will try to say hi at school.

K could hardly contain himself. He was rolling on the bed shrieking at the silliness of the story. How ridiculous! As if he needed to be told how to say hi? He says hi every day: to the bus driver, the school receptionist, the principal greeting him at the door, his teacher, the older student walking by his locker.

The social story was from Grade 5 or 6, just a couple years ago, when he'd walk into school talking about the time machines and hovercrafts he'd invent, and didn't even look up when friends and teachers called his name.

I was laughing as hard as he was, but for a different reason - joy.