Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Winding Roads.

winding roadI have always been a fan of the quirky brain that zigs where others might zag and my son’s language processing disorder, due to autism, has often made for wonderful, entertaining and thought-provoking conversations that go right when you thought they’d go left and visa versa – making for a very fun ride as we wind our way down the road of life.

On a recent trip to Universal Studios with my grown daughter, my teenaged son (we shall call him J1, for this story) and one of his pals (J2), I had the great fortune to overhear not one, but two brains with autism thinking aloud in the back seat and the beautiful switchback patterns of conversation that came from it did not disappoint.  I will script it out for you, so you can hear it in your brain, just as my daughter and I did in the theatre of the mind that is often our family vehicle:

J1 – I really like Harry Potter.

J2 – Did you ever read the Harry Potter books?

J1 – No.  But, I saw the movies.

J2 – Oh. < Long Pause > The books were really good.

J1 – So… were the movies.

J2 – < Long Pause > Yes.  But, I think it was so terrible that Voldemort killed Harry Potter’s parents.

J1 – Me, too.

J2 – Yeah.  That was the saddest part of all of it.

J1 – You know, if they would have had ADT home security service, that wouldn’t have happened.

J2 – You are so right.  Voldemort couldn’t have gotten into their house if they had ADT and Harry’s parents would still be alive.

J1 – Home security is so important.

There was just enough silence after that, so that my daughter and I could quietly exchange information about how we thought so many literary characters throughout history night have had entirely different fates if various technological advances (like, say, a home security system) had been made available to them.

The car does seem to be the place that the best conversations take place with my boy.  Just this morning, we passed by one of our city’s landscape maintenance crews as they gathered large piles of greenery from weeding a small hillside near the road, and my son glanced over and said, “Hmph.  A time… to reap!”

I glanced over and said, “Son, did you just say, ‘A time to… reap?’”

He stared me down and snickered, silly woman that I apparently can be and said, “Yes.  A time to reap.  A time to kill, a time to heal.”

At that moment, I realized precisely where he’d heard the word ‘reap’ before.  “Uhm…The Byrds?”

He nodded.  “Eeyup.  Turn, Turn, Turn.”

My 21st century boy’s knowledge of 60’s pop, folk and rock music never ceases to amaze me, but in this moment — what was more mystifying, was the fact that his use of the word ‘reap’ wasn’t that far off the mark.  Granted, those fellas doing the curbside weeding weren’t exactly “harvesting” anything from the nasty greens they’d bundled up, but for the young man still working on his language skills, I saw it as only slight left of a true center.

Nearly 15 years ago, when I’d taken my son to UCLA to see a Developmental Pediatrician, for what would ultimately turn out to be a diagnosis of autism, the highlight of one of the lowest days of my life was when my 3 year old was put through the paces of identifying shapes and colors.  He breezed through blue circle, green square and yellow triangle; struggled only slightly when it came to orange rectangle; and stopped cold only momentarily when presented with the flash card of a red plus sign.  He looked at the symbol, tilted his head and said, “Hospital?”  The doctor marked his answer as wrong, but I made a mental note of “hopeful.”

I realize that this road we travel may have twists and turns and zigzag all over the place before we’re done, but I decided a long time ago that maybe we should simply savor the view, look forward to where it might take us and really, really try to enjoy the ride (especially, the conversations that happen in the car along the way).

xo – t.

I see that the path of progress has never taken as straight line, but has always been a zigzag course amid the conflicting forces of right and wrong, truth and error, justice and injustice, cruelty and mercy.” – Kelly Miller

I’m taking one step at a time.  I could zigzag one way, but it’s not usually on purpose.” – Beck

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.  May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey

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