Thank You, Umbrella Corporation

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I know, I know…Umbrella Corporation?  Resident Evil? Sparkles?  What has happened in The Village?  I understand that the Umbrella Corporation and Resident Evil are not what you expected from Sparkles on a Sunday morning, right?  I get it.  Just hold up on firing off until you finish reading. Trust me.  Life has not turned completely upside down…yet.

Life is funny.  Life is a myriad of changes lately in our home and it’s been a crazy last few months.  The highs, the lows, ups and downs.  It changes from minute to minute.  The Spectrum Kiddo is in high school now.  Our first semester of our freshman year and, yeah…it’s been a bit of  a wow thing for mom.

Wow…we’re in high school.

Wow…my boy is as tall as me.

Wow…is that a moustache or dirt on your lip?

Wow…look how far we have come since that SPED kindergarten class.

Wow…when did I BLINK?

Wow…YOU got an A in ENGLISH?

Wow…you got an F in TYPING?

Wow…you ate lunch alone?

There have been many, many wows over these last few months.

Our school also prides itself on the dynamic variety of groups on campus that kids are encouraged to join.  There are oodles of clubs for kiddos to connect with in order to enhance their high school experience and bolster friendships for ALL kiddos.  It’s a great system so it wasn’t surprising that the Spectrum Kiddo and I had this conversation this week:

Mom: Buddy, have you checked out any groups on campus?

My boy: Why?

Mom: They have lots of groups.  Anime, comic books, robotics….lots of different groups you might like.

My boy: Mom, really, I’m fine. I have friends.  I don’t need the groups and you don’t need to worry.

And he did…he put me in check and I had to take a step back and let my Mom-Worry-Machine take a breather and let him be who he is.  Don’t think it was easy because it wasn’t.  The Mom-Worry-Machine wants to grab back some control and set up some play groups and force the boy to have F-R-I-E-N-D-S….right?  Yeah…I had to step back.  Way back..no matter how much that ran counter to how the Mom-Worry-Machine is designed to operate.  Deep breath…

 

And then today, this happened…and it changed the Mom-Worry-Machine forever….

Spectrum Kiddo: Look what my friend gave me.

Mom: A shirt?

Spectrum kiddo: Yeah.  He out grew it and I’d always admired it so he brought it to school and gave it to me.

Mom: Wow, buddy, that’s pretty cool.  What’s the umbrella corporation?

Spectrum kiddo: It’s from Resident Evil.

**And here it is.  The moment when we let go as parents.  The moment when we stop splitting the hairs and keep focused on the big picture lest we miss the point of life as a whole.  The very moment when I had to let go of the mom-speak that confines life to the appropriate, the PC, and the do-the-right-thing rule repetition.  This is the moment when I had to let go of the speech that begins to line up all the things wrong with Resident Evil for a 14 year old spectrum kiddo and, instead of reminders and admonitions, my response went something like this…..**

Mom: Resident Evil?  Really? I like that umbrella.

Spectrum kiddo: I really like it.

Mom: Me too.  What a great friend.

And despite the fact that the game is rated M and is not a rating allowed in our house, I didn’t say one word to my boy about THAT because the Mom-Worry-Machine was smiling pretty pretty darn big because, despite the fact that the shirt is from a game we don’t play and covers issues I don’t particularly embrace, the bigger picture fact that can’t be missed is that MY BOY IS CONNECTING AND HAS FRIENDS and my boy is cultivating friendships and that’s a big old win-win for this momma.  And despite my personal views on the game I’d even have to throw a big Thank You out to the Umbrella Corporation for offering this wholly unexpected connecting point for my boy.

And here’s the bigger truth:

My boy isn’t joining the campus groups.

My boy isn’t following the mandated path and he isn’t always going to take the easy route BUT

….my boy has friends.

And they may not be the typical friendships and they may not follow the accepted “rule” book but these “other” friendships are what works for HIM.  So the Mom-Worry-Machine is going to take a few steps back and let the boy live HIS life HIS way even when I may not always see the forest for the trees.

So thank you, Umbrella Corporation, for being so much more than just an M rated game that I banned in my home.  So. Much. More.

Sparkle On, my friends.

 

 

 

A Love Letter to Nintendo…

Game On

I understand there is a very popular philosophy these days that says electronics and video games are evil and that Nintendo and wii are ruining today’s youth. Yeah, I don’t always agree but I get it. I personaly wonder if the grown-up-blame-throwers ever calculate how many hours they themselves spend in front of screens texting, Facebooking, and all day binge watching multi seasons of television shows . Kids are no different than adults, in my opinion, their screens are just smaller.

But…here’s the thing…

I seriously need to send Nintendo a thank you note. No, really, a ginormous thank you.

For years, nearly a decade, my boy and I have battled over electronics.  My wanting him to get outside and play and him wanting to stay in the cool house and play Nintendo and wii.  Don’t worry, I always win because, as the adult, I can confiscate the electronics.  But, after many years, you get tired of having to force the child to go outside.  It gets tiring to always be the bad guy, always being the one to take the electronics away or severely limit them.  After a while, you’d like to not fight about electronics.

And that is why I am writing today.  I honestly need to thank Nintendo for bringing a new found peace to my home and to my parenting game.

It appears, in a crazy turn of events, that Nintendo’s games, Sonic Generations and Street Pass, actually require “play coins”. Play coins!! And do you know how you get “play coins?” You have to play!!! Yeah, after my glue-the-face-to-the-screen-while-sitting-on-the-couch boy went outside to “scooter” in the SUNSHINE for half an hour on three different occasions, I asked him what was going on. Not that it bothered me but, after years of couch sitting and mom having to force the outdoor play, I will admit it confused me.  So, like I said, I asked him what he was doing.

My boy then informed me, “I’m scootering to get play coins.”

Thank you, Nintendo.

Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You didn’t have to write that into your game program but parents everywhere are thankful <3. There IS method to the madness <3.
Sparkle On, my friends ❤

Being John Goodman

sully

As so often happens in my house, sleepovers are never really just one night.  The last minute sleepover my youngest son threw together was slowly turning into an almost “all-weekend over”.  It morphed from a sleepover to a sleepover with lunch and movie and, by the time we were done, the seemingly innocent one-nighter was beginning to span a second day.  It happens like that when the sleep over guest conveniently lives right across the street and is also frequently a near-resident of our home.  You never know, when you make that first night commitment, when the child will actually move back into their own home.

They are twelve.  It’s sweet.  I’m good with it.

I wasn’t even very surprised when they started talking about a movie.  And when his mom asked if she needed to feed her boy lunch first, I of course said no and that we would find a fun place to eat before the movie.  I just didn’t know the slow motion service at the boys’ choice of eateries would find us splitting those very last seconds of time in order to make it on time to the movie.

Okay, and honestly, we weren’t on time enough to see the pre-movie trivia part of the program but I’m happy to report, we plopped down into our fourth row floor-seats-before-the-steps seats in a super dark theater but just in time to see the first preview.  Yeah, those seats.  Since we were running a scoche bit late, we got floor seats.  The ones that sit you down almost inside the movie screen where you are obligated to crane your neck to see the upper section of the screen.  Tough seats but perfect timing.  I was just settling into my seat and taking my first relaxing breath of our boy-brain-sleep-over-marathon when the previews began towering over my head.

That’s when it happened.

Unexpectedly.

That fly-under-the-radar-sweet-guy, unassuming John Goodman, gobsmacked me right to tears.

Really.

I have always, on some level, been a John Goodman fan.  Never a hater, perhaps lukewarm for the most part (and not a groupie by any means) but I will say with my first viewing of Always, with Holly Hunter and Richard Dreyfus and coinciding with the summer I worked/survived my wildland fire crew, he won quite the place in my heart.  At 5’3″, and 110 pounds soaking wet back in college, firefighting was a hard gig for me that summer I was assigned to Plumas’ Engine 3-81.  Somehow, Holly Hunter dancing in that white dress, making grocery lists in her sleep and John Goodman swooping in as that devoted friend to pull her out of the dumps when she was falling apart sure got me through that summer of my  own personal deep waters.  That troubling summer, I wished I had a John Goodman to be my rock, my puller-up-out-of-the-dumps-despite-my-protests.

But I am digressing. This is about John, not me.

Until I sat in that crane-your-neck-movie-seat, I’d never thought much about John Goodman. I’d loved him as Pacha and Sully and in a flurry of great performances over my life but despite the stack of performances he’s nailed over decades, the importance of John Goodman had not become apparent until that near-weekend-sleep-over.  Not until the preview for Monuments Men towered over my craned neck did I notice the larger than life and wonderfully colossal qualities of this man I’d known for so long.

Larger than life is not a reference to the size of the man that John Goodman is.  Though he truly is a mountain of a man, it wasn’t that kind of colossal that occurred to me in that moment. It was that colossal kind of mettle that molds a soul into more than who you thought them to be until they towered over you.  The kind of colossal that sets a man apart from who life and his peers should have turned him into.  A greatness that comes from so much more than merely the individual pieces that make up the whole.

John Goodman?

Colossal?

Really?

You’re probably thinking, “Come on, Sparkles, he’s no Robert Redford, you know?    He’s John Goodman.  Good, kind, funny…but colossal?”

Yes.  Colossal.  Stay with me here.

I look at our autism community and we are a lot of things.  A LOT of things, my friends.  We are vocal, passionate, intelligent, educated, committed and brave but, there are moments, when we lack the colossal of John Goodman and that foundation that makes us all more than the sum of our parts.  He is that.  It’s a crazy time we’re living in, Wonder Souls. We spend an embarrassing amount of time giving our attention to the antics of celebrities, hanging on every dysfunctional word that comes out of their mouths, watching as they become obsessed with trivial things like fancy clothing, cars and being seen.  In a community of crazy that celebrities become, John Goodman is a truly and magically a horse of a different color.

A horse of a different color because he is not merely a product of the place he comes from.  He is so much more.  In many ways he is a quandry, a mystery and he is so much more than the sum of the parts.  Despite the acting community he resides in,he is not a man chasing fame.  He is not a man catering his actions to please the masses or his peers.  He is boldly himself.  He is kindly himself.  He is unabashedly himself…despite who those swirling around him choose to become.  He is boldly an independent without harboring a need to crush anyone else.

We all need more John Goodman within our lives, within our communities.

Crazy, you say?  No way.

Watching the faces of the Monuments Men, I remembered a lot of things about John Goodman and not one of them was mean.  I see a man who is humbled, flawed and modest at a time when few people choose that path.  I don’t remember one unkind word.  Not one moment of blame.  Not one moment when he was anything other than kind and true to himself.  Over the last three decades, not once have I watched him be a follower of the masses. He may not agree with me and that’s okay because, you know what?  He didn’t ask me to write this nor did he give me any permissions to see him the way that I do.

I give him a pass on this one.

But what I see, when I look at him towering above me, is a man who has always been just himself.  Throughout the many decades he has graced those celluloid cells, he has been nothing but an original.  In the acting community where so many of his peers chase a fleeting image of thin and fit, he balks at the stereotypes and chooses to simply be an independent without apology.  What I see when I look at John Goodman is incredible strength and character in a world that does not make it easy to be that way.  He is not a perfect man but he is honest and he is real and, no matter what happens, he is kind and smiling.  Positive despite the trials and triumphs of troubles or failures.

That is what strikes me most about John Goodman.  That is what I think is missing in the autism community and perhaps in life in general.  He is comfort and kindness, he is a smile in troubled waters and a familiar chuckle…no matter how deep those troubling waters may be.  We need more of that.  More John Goodman in life and certainly more John Goodman in the autism community. Just try it.  Be the John Goodman that’s missing in your life, in your circles, in the autism community.

More good.

More honest and less perfect.

More flawed, more real and much less camo and pretend.

More soft places to fall into and less finger pointer.

More acceptance and less blaming.

More being John Goodman.

I think he’s pretty darn sparkly and more sparkle is always good.  Sparkle On, my friends.

Bullies Stand Down.

no bullies

Last week was hard.

The hardest kind of hard.  Not the kind of hard that wipes you out and makes you feel tired and worn out.  It wasn’t that kind of hard.  No, my friends, it was the other kind of hard.  The kind of hard that presses your soul down and, in the process, crushes your heart open wide.  I’d say it breaks your heart but it’s messier than that with lots more tiny shards scattered about.  The kind of foundation-shattering-hard that rips open the gingerly pieced boundaries that normally keep the anxiety contained when you notice the display on your ringing phone spelling out the spectrum kiddo’s school name.

Lately it had been going smooth.

Super s-m-o-o-t-h.

The kind of smooth and quiet you work hard for, for many years, and you expect it to last because, well, smooth is nice.  Let’s face it….you want to believe smooth can last indefinitely because smooth is a good thing.  I’m here to tell you, smooth is often not destined to last.

When the phone rang and the school’s name screamed up at me as though the letters were in neon, it was my son’s dean from the middle school.  It was a dreaded phone call that no amount of kind voice from a kind man could change.  From what the Dean’s voice was telling me, my boy had been in a tussle before school started that morning.  Details were few but the yard aide informed the office my boy had gone after another boy with a stick.  A STICK.  Sounded like crazy talk to me but that’s what I was hearing the Dean say.

My boy.

Aggressive.

A stick.

Talked to.

Reprimanded.

Huh?

Absolute crazy talk.

I can hear his words.  He is a kind man.  I hear his words jumbling in my head but they are slow to settle.  Aggressive and my boy are not often mentioned in the same sentence.  So much so that when I put all three of my kiddos into karate classes, his siblings had no issues with sparring and tussling.  But, despite his yellow and near orange belt, my spectrum kiddo took it personally every time anyone laid a foot or glove on him.

“Hey!” He’d yell to his opponent, not trying to hide his surprise, “That hurt!”

It never changed.  His brother and sister excelled and easily attained their orange belts and sparred with belts two and three shades higher with vigor but not my spectrum kiddo.  He never got used to hitting anyone or getting hit.  It seemed ridiculous to him.

“Why would I want to hit anyone?” He would ask.

Listening to the dean speak, it just wouldn’t settle.  My younger boy?  Sure.  A tussle for him would not surprise me at all but my spectrum kiddo?  It’s just not him…unless he has been pushed VERY far.

“Are you sure?”  I asked the dean.  “It doesn’t sound right.”

“He had a coffee stirrer in his hand,” the dean explained, “and went after the other student.”

“That doesn’t even make sense.  We don’t even drink coffee.  Where would he get that?”

I obviously had more questions than he had answers.  He assured me he was still investigating and that it happened right as school was starting and my boy did not know the two boys involved.  He assured me he would get to the bottom of it all and if there were questions, he would get them answered.  I like that there seemed to be very little ego involved in the Dean and the administrative offices.

At first I am sorry. Sorry my boy went after another kiddo. But then, just as quickly as it all sinks into me, the hard and the hurt that were crushing me just minutes before are replaced by my hackles rising up.  Suddenly I am hackled up as bad as my Labrador gets whenever she sees something she feels could be a threat.  I am suddenly pretty darn sure that everything is not what it seems despite the yard aide’s account.

When I pick up my boy, I ask him for an explanation.

“For Heaven’s sake,” I ask him, “why would you go after another child?”

My boy then begins to speak in his choppy speech that is often hard to understand but Mom always understands because Mom asks LOTS of questions.  In his version of the event, the other boy who my child did not know was telling my boy they were best friends.  Teasing him.  My boy asked him to stop.  He continued to tell my boy they were friends.  My boy again asked him to stop.  My boy takes his friends seriously, real friends are black and white.  You are either friends or you are not.  The other boy claimed my boy and he were “best friends” which my boy knew was wrong since my boy did not know him at all and told him so.  The boy continued and even put his arm around my son’s shoulder.  Another boy then handed my son a stick.

Ugghh.  I think to myself…this is so much deeper than the yard aide can even fathom.

My boy did not know who either of the boys were.  His brilliant sister, when we got home and repeated the story, asked if he had looked through his yearbook to see if he could identify the boys.  Yes, she is brilliant in ways I am not.  I never once thought of that.

Within two minutes, my boy has picked two boys out.  They are a year younger than he is.  They are seventh graders.  He then informs me, “Mom, it had been going on for five days.”

Of course I called the principal and the dean to give them the names as well as the extended time frame.  They let me know they will continue the investigation.  I remark as to whether they have spoken further to the yard aide as to how she only took note of my boy in the situation and apparently let the more socially savvy boys scatter.

He says he is still investigating.

Later I get a call.  One boy has been identified from the names my boy gave but the other one has not.  The coffee-stirrer/stick-giver boy has been found but he was apparently just a timid boy who was trying to “help” my boy and witnessed how the other boy, still yet to be identified, kept on harassing my son.  He was too scared to stand with my boy but wanted to offer “support”?  Misguided perhaps but not mean spirited.

The dean and the principal, when I walk into the office that Friday afternoon for an update, assured me that even though they have not identified the harasser/bully, they will in time.  They have even taken to shadowing my boy during the day to see if they can uncover the identity.

On Monday morning, when I drop my boy off, I give him the same speech as the previous Friday.  If he sees the bully, he needs to go to the office to let them know.  I remind him he does not have to fix this alone.  The principal, the dean, the counselor, the secretary and all the teachers are there to help and support and all he has to do is let them know.  I’m uncomfortable and nervous but he is 13, nearly 14, and does not want mom to walk into school or sit with him all day so I go to my classroom in another district and my boy goes to his school.

That morning my boy walked into the library, his favorite place on campus, before school started.  He saw the boy, the boy who had been harassing him.  Despite enduring five days of bullying from this boy, my boy was focused and undeterred.  He still did not know the bully’s name so my boy, with his very black and white way of looking at life, walked right up to his bully and said, “What’s your name?”

The boy, becoming nervous, asks my son, “Why do you want to know?”

My boy then walks away but the bully follows him and repeats, “Why do you want to know?”  The bully then turns it up a notch by saying to my son, “You better tell me why you want to know or I’m going to tell the principal on you.”

And, my boy, like only he can because his brain is wired more brilliantly than mine ever was, tells the boy who has been bullying him for five long days, “Oh, you’ll know why I want to know when you meet the principal.”

My boy then walks out of the library to go tell the school secretary who then verifies the identity of the bully.   The investigation then revs up a notch as the bully is confronted.  And, of course, like bullies do, he denies everything.  Fortunately, the second boy my son identified has already corroborated the story which means there is no way out for the bully…despite his socially savvy attempt to lie through his teeth and shirk responsibility for his actions.

And that, despite my boy’s choppy speech and less than savvy social graces, is how you not only take on a bully but force the bully to stand down.  It takes a village, it takes compassion and a lot of commitment to keeping a safe school environment.  Have  I mentioned how much I love a campus who steps up to create an environment where all students are equal, where there is a zero tolerance for bullying and where investigations are open until they are solved?  The kind of place where sometimes the boy who is bullied can be the key to the whole investigation.

Two weeks later, there have been no further incidences.  Four weeks later, I get a call from the dean saying my boy was “accidentally” hit on campus.  It was the same boy.  The difference this time?  My boy chased down the bully.  When he caught him, he put him in a head lock and neutralized the bullying.  And, when you are in the right school, the administration applauds the head lock and resolve.  Bullies, indeed, stand down.

Sparkle On, my friends, and be the kind of village where no bully can thrive 🙂

Autism: Ordinary and Awesome

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This.

This happened on our way to school this morning.  Just me and my spectrum kiddo during our five minute drive to middle school.  Have I mentioned he floors me?  Well, this time you could have scooped me up off the floor because I melted.

Mom:  Nonny told me you mentioned to her that you were wondering if something would happen to you because you are autistic.

My boy:  Yeah, I asked her that.

Mom:  Does it bother you?

My boy:  No.  Not anymore. It was just something I wondered about.

Mom:  You know autism just means your brain is wired differently, right?

My boy:  It doesn’t feel any different, Mom.

Mom:  Well, it’s not really, Buddy.  Just means you are capable of some pretty great stuff.  It’s actually pretty brilliant.

My boy:  Mom, not really.  As far as I can see….it’s pretty ordinary.

(speechless at this point and scrambling for some response..)

Mom: You know what, Buddy?  You’re right.

And it occurs to me that most of the time I am in go-mode, in perpetual motion, always trying to stay out in front, put the supports in place, make sure he has what he needs, train the teachers, make sure the IEP reflects his needs, ensure we are not getting lazy or taking steps back….so much so that I didn’t realize that to him, it is all ordinary.  He does not see it as brilliant or spectacular or difficult or any such thing…It is simply ORDINARY.  Today, in a breath of fresh air from my boy, I was given the opportunity to see autism anew..through his eyes.

Absolutely gobsmacked.

And, if you’d go find a snow shovel, I’d appreciate it if you’d scoop me up because flattened and floored is where I am <3.  I love this kid.  No matter how much I think I know him, he never ceases to make my jaw drop and leave me utterly speechless.

Autism Wins the Crash

autism sparkles-15

Sitting on the offramp waiting for the light to turn green, I realized the street in front of us was the same one the news station noted as having the cheapest gas of the day.  $3.32, is what I think they said and it got my attention because the last time I filled up, I paid $3.83.  The street I was looking at was not in my part of town so I wondered if I just kept following it and checking gas prices, if I’d eventually just run into it.

That’s what I was thinking when the WHACK whacked my boys and I and got our full attention.  It has been right at thirty years (when I was 16 or so) since I’ve had any sort of car accident (knock on wood) so it surprised me.

My boys both yelled in shock, “Mom, did someone just hit us?”

“I think so.” I calmly told them.  Everyone was wearing seat belts and it did not throw our car so we were good.

I put the car in gear and walked back to the other vehicle.  He was in an older, full size pick up and I could see some minor denting on his front bumper.  “We’ll need to call the police and I’ll need your insurance information.”

He spoke with a strong accent as he told me, “It was the brakes.”

“We’ll need to call and report it.” I said.

I realized I  needed to get my phone and make the call so I began to walk back to the car to remove the phone from the cubby it sat in since, today, my shorts have no pockets.  It was as I was reaching for my phone that I noticed him leaving our left hand turn lane in a big hurry, scooting across two other lanes, and scurrying off into a right hand turn.  All of this happening while I was still standing in the street beside my car.

I was speechless.

He just left.  He just left?  What?  People don’t run away.  Oh, it donned on me…this is a hit and run.  Oy vey…a hit and run?  Really?  Because I’m sure my schedule says our Despicable Me 3D movie starts at 10:30 and I can’t believe we’re going to miss Gru and the Minions because of THIS.

This is the moment when I remembered I did not have his license plate number and I NEEDED it.  I asked my eleven year old to get a pen out of my purse and I began to call out the license number. We all began to say it over and over to try and remember the succession of letters and numbers.

Did I mention when the adrenaline flows in me I get pretty scattered?  Did I mention forty year old eyes are not nearly as precise as twenty year old eyes?  Yeah…THAT.

Without much thought, and because the traffic had now cleared, I crossed those same two lanes of traffic and tried to follow after him.  He was traveling fast and I was behind him but he was way ahead of me by now and I could only see the tail end of his truck as he turned into a parking lot off the main road.  Within thirty seconds I was in that same parking lot but all I could see was the corner of his truck again, turning another corner.  I sped through the parking lot and made that corner right as I saw him turning into the Residence Inn and then into a parking space.

For a gentle and forgiving minute, I though maybe he hadn’t run away.  I naively went to that forgiving girl place that excused him and told myself, maybe he is staying here at the motel and just thought I was following him.  Yeah, I went there.  It didn’t take him long to startle a bit as he saw me parked behind him as he began to get out of the truck and it took him even less time to jump back in and punch the accelerator into reverse.

As my youngest son asked, “Mom, is he going to hit us again?” I was thankful that I had not blocked his path because he certainly would have.  He jammed to get out of the parking space and then around another corner until he was out of the lot.

Right about that moment was when I noticed my hands shaking as I tried to grab my cell and call 9-1-1.  It took me a minute to hit the right numbers but I did not lose sight of the truck and I asked both boys to make sure we had the license plate right.  When the 9-1-1 operator answered and let me know I could stop because I had the plate number, we stopped.  “What was the license plate number,” he asked.

That is when I asked my boys and they each had a different version of the number.  That’s when I got nervous because, at that second, my brain was mush. “Both my boys have a different version,” I admitted.  “But, I’ll tell you one of my boys is on the spectrum and he has this crazy, nearly photographic, memory and I’d go with his version if I had to because he is pretty amazing when it comes to numbers.”

He laughed like it was no big deal.  He said to head to a nearby restaurant parking lot by the main road and he’d send an officer to take the report.

It was less than a minute before my phone was ringing with an unfamiliar phone number listed.    I wasn’t sure who it was but I answered and, even though it is summer time, it was one of my spectrum kiddos teachers.

“Hey I just saw you on the offramp.  I was the car behind that truck that hit you and I saw him speed away.  Do you need the license plate number?”

Yeah, life is crazy like that.  True story and it happened just  like that.

I got a pen and paper out and I wrote down the number she gave me and,  sure enough, my spectrum kiddo nailed it.  Had the number memorized perfectly even though he did not have the pen and paper to write it down.  His brain is brilliant like that.  Don’t waste your time telling me that autism is less because, that spectrum kiddo of mine, he has some serious real world skills.  When times get a little nutty, that boy rocks the chaos and he wins in the crash.

We turned around to go meet the CHP officer at that parking lot on the main road to report the incident.  I don’t know if they will find the man who ran away but I know I did my part.  I  learned a great lesson about my boy and I also used the teachable moment that it was to share with my boys how important it is to never shirk your responsibility.  That if you make a mistake, it’s just a mistake and can be fixed.  But running away?  That’s entirely different.  Running away from your responsibility…that’s something that destroys your character and that, my friends, that can’t be fixed so easily.  It is one of the few things that will make you less.  Autism never will.

The best part of that morning is my boys and I still made it to see Despicable Me and that little movie was worth every minute :). Great flick and just as funny during the credits.  Don’t forget to stay for the credits.  GREAT 3D stuff AFTER the movie so stay seated!