Monday, July 20, 2009

The Kid Who Can't Grow Up

I won't get heavily into having an autistic son. He's been part of our life for 19 years and his diagnosis, hyperlexia to be precise, for about 15 of those years. He's a treat and a challenge, wonderful to be around and frustrating too. Having just graduated from High School last month, he is scheduled to attend college in the fall. Not bad, not bad at all.

I think most parents have in them a wish, small or big, for their kids to remain the same. Well, we have a kid who can't grow up, at least as of today. A a story to illustrate.

He was not feeling too well last week and was pretty clingy. On Friday, I was doing what I refer to as "research" for my Maybe Baby blog. That meant watching John and Yoko on the Dick Cavett show from September 1971. My son came in and sat on my lap, putting his head on my chest. Now remember, he's almost 19, about 5'10", 220 lbs (at least). Not the usual kid on lap scene.

"What are you doing now?" I asked.

"Hanging out with you," he answered, quite literally.

He proceeded to lie down on the couch and cover himself with a blanket. Then, he explained to me how being sick felt.

"Yesterday, I had a Freaky Friday day. I was like a little kid in a big kid's body." A very nice example of what it's like to not feel like yourself.

"Is this The Dick Ca-vett show?" he asked, emphasis on the wrong syllable.

"Ca-vett, I corrected."

"Ca-vett," he repeated.

He watched with me, not particularly interested, nodding off now and then.

"Are you skipping parts?"

"No, they're bleeping out John saying 'shit'."

He let out a huge laugh. He loves rude words.

The next episode began. A few more segments with John and Yoko, then Stan Freberg. My son watched the opening credits - he loves credits - and then told me that Stan Freberg did some Looney Tunes voices. Of course he's right. He is encyclopedic on cartoons. A conversation ensued around his knowledge base.

It was a wonderful time with my "baby" who, though now a man, stills brings out those sweet feelings of when he was a little kid.

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