Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Where Does Asperger's Come From?

Katie, Erin and I.
The girls. (Amazingly, only the girls would pose for a picture. The boys were too busy.) We had five girls and seven boys at our mammoth play date.

The girls and Cooper enjoy some pool time.

Thirty-two years ago, we were kindergarten friends (has it really been that long!). Back then, we rode bikes around the neighborhood and enjoyed an endless amount of play dates. Today, we all drive mini vans packed full of our own kiddos.

Today, those friends (and their children) converged on my home. We sat around my kitchen table snacking on chips and carrots, while our kids ran around the backyard with water balloons and squirt guns. We moms reminisced about 32 years of memories while sharing the current goings-on of our families.

The older I get, the more I treasure longevity of friendships and commitments to relationships. Today, I basked in friends that have known me forever, and still call me friend.

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Today, Caleb and I were in the car.

Out of the blue, he says, "Mom, did you have Asperger's?"

"No," I replied.

I was completely shocked by his question. Then, a tad bit excited that he actually wanted to engage in a little bit of conversation. Like any discussion I've had with Caleb, I savor even a few minutes of candor and attempt to extend our discourse for as long as Caleb participates.

He continued, "Did Dad have Asperger's?"

Again, I replied, "No."

Finally, he asked, "So, how did I get it?"

I sat stunned. I choked back tears and thought about how I wanted to reply.

Finally, I said, "Caleb, I didn't have Asperger's, but you have so many special things about you. You learn quicker than I ever did at that age and you have such intense, diverse interests."

He perked up and contemplated my words. Finally, he replied, "I do love Greek Mythology and animals." Then, he went into a short monologue about lizards (komodo dragons in particular).

I sat and listened, hoping he realized how truly special he is.





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