Let me start by saying that I am honestly thrilled for every step forward my son takes. Truly thrilled! However, there are some of his not so “normal” traits that I never want him to lose.
This realization hit me a short while back when yet one more playschool mom informed me that her daughter planned on marrying my son. I laughed and said that she’d have to get in line as he seems to be amassing quite a group of girlfriends.
I shared this cute little anecdote with my husband that night who commented, “That’s sweet. I wonder why all these girls are in love with him.”
Aside from the fact that he is the best looking little boy ever, in my humble opinion, “It’s probably because he doesn’t pull hair and tell them they have cooties like the other boys.”, was my response.
It was a simple comment that really got me thinking about what other “normal” little boy things he doesn’t do; and that I don’t want him to do.
He doesn’t reject affection from me
As he nears six years old, my boy still climbs up on my lap to snuggle. He still asks to be picked up and held. He still loves lots of kisses and tight hugs. I realize that this alone doesn’t make him unique from most others his age, but he even allows and welcomes this in public. There’s no, “MooOOOoomm, my friends are watching!”
He doesn’t tease or bully
He loves to play with other kids and we are working hard at learning how to ask kids to play with him. He doesn’t discriminate as to who he does and doesn’t want to play with. He may not pursue a relationship with someone who’s been mean to him in the past, but aren’t we all like that?
This does not mean that he is a perfect boy, he still fights with his sisters over who’s turn it is or who gets that toy, etc., but I’ve never seen or heard him call anyone a bad name or refuse their friendship because they don’t measure up to his standards. He won’t always accept the invitation from other kids, but he’s not mean about it.
He is genuine
My son will not craft a fake persona to take advantage of a situation. He won’t act nice to you then badmouth you behind your back. He is who he is and he likes what he likes. Perhaps he could be a little more subtle in his declarations of what he doesn’t like, but that is another area that we are working on.
As parents of young ones, we long for our children to grow up and get to the next stage (potty training, school, not needing a babysitter, and so on) all the while lamenting the loss of innocence and hard life-lessons which they endure along the way. I remember my mother telling me a few years ago that the hardest part of having grown children is that you can no longer fix their hurts with a simple kiss and hug. Those are days that I do not look forward to.
I’ve always said that my biggest problem with autism is that I don’t want my son’s life to be any harder than it needs to be, but somedays I wonder if maybe there aren’t harder times he may be able to avoid? I realize that the last statement is simply a mother’s hope and not a fact. He’ll still endure hurt and pain, regardless of autism. But don’t we all wish we could just keep them in the bubble just a little longer?