It’s so interesting when you are a parent to watch which traits your kids pick up from you. Sometimes this feeling can be exhilarating and joyful, like when you hear your children say please and thank you or hold the door for someone. Other times you get a mirror held up right to your face and you gasp with recognition of your less than stellar behavior.
So, here are some fun observations for me. Bryan loves to use my phone in the car. He puts on the GPS to follow the route, he watches movie previews, and checks the movie times for the next movie he is focused on. Bryan functions like my Cyrano when we are driving. I do not text and drive, so if someone texts me while we are driving, Bryan will tell me who it was and what they said. On Sunday, which was Mother’s Day, I got a bunch of texts wishing me a happy day. When one came from another Mom, I told him text back “to you too”. I was curious in my mind whether he would know to put the “too” and not “to”. He is smart but I wasn’t sure. He said, “I wrote back ‘to you too’, t-o-o”. I had such a smirky little chuckle to myself that not only does this boy know this grammar rule, but he knew I would want to know. Such a tiny little thing, but warmed my heart.
Later in the day Jason, Bryan, and I were driving home from Hebrew School. Jason wanted to tell me a story about a boy at his Middle School who he is friends with that has autism. He said “blah blah blah autistic kid…” and then said, “oops Mom I mean kid with autism”. I said, “it’s ok J, I knew what you meant” and he said “no Mom, I get the difference”. Another little smirky smile for me. Ahhhh they get me. My kids get me. They have Jane speak!! I’m not sure this is always good, but it’s nice to know the nuances are there and that they know how to make Mommy happy and care about the little things that matter to me.
Ok, last one. Boys had a field trip on Monday. They are at the same school and all grades were going. Jason asked me for money (or rather hustled me) for money for the gift shop. They were going to the Ft. Lauderdale Science Museum. We have been there many times, so he needed to buy nothing. I only had a $20 bill so I told him I would give it to him but he had to share with Bryan. I had no idea if they would really see each other on the trip but I figured at least it was worth a try. My theory on these things is you figure out how much money you are willing to flush down the toilet and just take the zero and move on. I am at work and Jason texts me that they are on the same bus. He then tells me they are going to sit together on the bus. I am now going to brag. I am so in awe of Jason at times. Here he could get a break from Bryan, do his own thing, be with his friends…but he loves him so fiercely and is so protective that he chooses to be with him and watch out for him. I gasped from the text and immediately let out a few tears of love cry. I spent the rest of the day thinking about Jason. Autism is a journey for the entire family. Jason does not know life without autism, but he has managed to embrace it and Bryan in a way that humbles and inspires me. It is one thing to be nice to his brother when I’m watching or when there is danger, but another thing to enthusiastically seek to spend time with him on a field trip when you are in middle school and there is such a heightened sense of wanting to fit in and divest ourselves of any weirdness or differences.
We are planning his Bar Mitzvah, the sign of manhood; he’s well on his way.