Monday, January 21, 2013

His Posse

Most Tuesdays and Fridays, I drop Ethan off 40 minutes early for school for a social skills group. This was the brainchild of a few of Ethan's teachers, and I can't thank them enough. Our insurance doesn't cover such activities right now, and coordinating play dates with anyone these days seems to involve an almost Herculean effort.

Ethan's with three other boys, all kindergarteners. They finish their lunch and head to the ABA room; Ethan eats at home and when we get there I walk him down so they can get started.

Yesterday we entered the room and Ethan attempted to take off his coat.

"Hi Ethan!" one of the boys called.

We put down his things and Ethan headed over to the circle. They made a spot for him, all smiles. "Come here, Ethan!" one of them said, motioning next to him.

A grin was splitting my face wide open. I wished people could see, that people could understand. This is autism too: an enthusiastic greeting; genuine warmth from his peers. They didn't each want to be in their corners, playing alone. They enjoy having the group together. They just have some trouble navigating the complex social world out there...frustratingly complex already, while they are still in their early years.

I left that room and felt something encircle Ethan. I think it was friendship and love. In that moment it didn't matter what might happen down the road, how the gap between typical and not may appear more pronounced, the other struggles that may ensue. In that moment I felt the joy of him being surrounded by his people. People he doesn't have to explain himself to; people who might accept his quirks as he accepts theirs. I hope and pray he is always able to find and connect with his people; that he doesn't always have to feel alone and different.

My only regret in that moment was that I do not know the moms of these wonderful boys. I envisioned us sitting around, swapping stories while our boys played, laughing and understanding, feeling that same embrace of friendship, kinship, warmth. Someday. Maybe someday.

For now I will smile and think of this group of bright-eyed boys who are full of energy and love. Their teachers see things in them just waiting to come out, to mature. They have much to offer each other, and the world.

Ethan's posse.

1 comment:

Alana Terry said...

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