My sweet boy turns eight years old at the end of this month.
Today, I made his party invitations. He is autistic and, like most things, that makes his birthday parties a little different.
There are a lot of wins this year when it comes to his birthday planning. First, he picked where he wanted his party and was very excited about it. He helped me decide which party room at the venue he wanted, Lego. He even said, “I love Lego,” when we decided.
Tonight, while sending out the evite, my husband asked J if there was anyone he wanted to invite outside of cousins. My son stared at me, confused by the question.
I didn’t want to prompt “from school” or “from therapy” because a few different things might come as a short unclear answer. Most of those could result in him expecting children to come who probably wouldn’t.
He might have said nothing. He might want to invite a child who doesn’t consider him a friend.
He may have wanted me to invite all “the children”, as he refers to them, which leads to more confusion and disappointment.
Little moments like this sting. When they happen, a flash of a different version of my child’s life passes through my mind. I don’t dwell on it, but it happens. I wish I could help it.
The beauty of my sweet boy is that after a long pause, I mentioned his cousin’s names, and he added his sister’s name all on his own. I asked if it would be a great day with all of them there, and he said “yes!”
The older he gets, the more sad I get that he doesn’t really have friends. He doesn’t run around trading pokemon cards, chatting about video games, or riding bikes with friends.
Sometimes, when we see children his age engaging in typical conversation or play he’ll attempt to join in, and it’s met with awkwardness. Sometimes, I see him try to mimic their play on the side or later at home.
I know he is starting to notice he is different. I hope I can show him that that difference is beautiful.
Although moments like tonight prove he is happy with the relationships he has. He is happy playing on his own and with those who understand him.
His happiness is all that matters.