Although having a kid with Asperger’s Syndrome is a challenge, we’re pretty blessed with Scout’s high functioning status. I know it could be much, much worse. Most days I take it all in stride–maybe a heavy sigh here and there, but overall, unless something really hard comes up, day to day it just is what it is. My own take on it all has definitely improved over time–acceptance, being able to truly embrace the funny little quirks that comes along with the diagnosis.
Throughout my dark Aspie days, my husband C-man has always been able to take things pretty much in stride. Being the stoic Norwegian that he is, he typically can let things roll off of him–or at least deal with them inwardly without it outwardly effecting him much. Last night, however, poor C-man got his turn to feel and take in the reality of what it is to have a child that is not typical. He took Scout to a hockey game.
C-man has always loved hockey. He played it as a kid and still manages to put the ‘biscuit in the basket’ here and there with an old man’s league. It’s the only sport that he really insists on watching. (lucky me!) As it is, the poor man has accepted that he’s the only one in the family who gives a flying puck about it. I find it an utter bore to watch on TV and neither of the kids have the slightest interest in watching or playing it. I don’t even remember the last time either of them had a pair of ice skates on. (a true shame living in the land of 10,000 lakes, I know.)
C-man had been given a couple of tickets to a Wild game. When trying to figure out who to take Scout said, “How about a Daddy-Son night?” Of course I wanted to leap for joy at the idea of him wanting to go spend time with his Dad, especially not being a hockey fan. This was just not a typical Aspie response.
Sadly, the game was a typical Aspie experience. C-man reported that it was all about the treats. As soon as he got the munchies he wanted, Scout’s experience was pretty much over. At one point when they threw out a bunch of pucks on the ice Scout asked, “What are all of those black things?” I’m sure my hubby wanted to crawl under his seat as the manly men with their sporty sons probably gave him strange looks upon hearing such a question! It’s like he was completely unaware of where he was and what he was doing.
There are plenty of kids who wouldn’t be interested in watching a game, of any sport. But I would think most kids that were almost 10 years old could at least enjoy being in an arena–snacking, people-watching, just plain spending time with someone they love, sharing something that’s important to the person who took them. Even I enjoy an occasional live hockey game. The fact of the matter is, our son can’t enjoy a social event for the sake of it being a social event. Most of us can find something fun about an experience, even if the subject matter isn’t something we’re highly interested in. And if we can’t, we can at least sit through it and make the best of it. I’m starting to wonder if Scout is ever going to learn to make the best of anything that isn’t high on his priority list. And that could cause some serious problems with work and relationships down the road.
There I go again, worrying about The Future instead of just trying to get through Today. But I can’t help it. I feel sorry for me, and I feel sorry for my husband who just wants to share some bonding time with his son. He said on the way home one would never have known where they had just been. As soon as they got into the car it was listening to Scout rattle off facts–and not about hockey!– for the entire ride.
So C-man was in a serious funk upon returning home last night. I gave him a cuddle and a kiss and told him I was so sorry. I let him wallow in it, for I know from experience sometimes that’s just what needs to be done. It was his turn to mourn the loss of the dream of a typical child. I’m sure we’ll be trading that experience on and off for the rest of our lives, and that’s kind of a sad thought.