I am borrowing a quote from another autism mama, “Thank the baby Jesus in footie pajamas that tonight is a school night!” Mr. Boo has had a lovely break, but will be all smiles when the yellow school bus shows up at the curb tomorrow morning. He has had many days to sleep in, eat tasty treats, meet his cousins, and visit all his favorite haunts. But, tomorrow morning is school, routine, normalcy. He will be a happy camper and so will his mama.
The other night was a sober one at our house, as it probably was at many. I was prepping Mr. Boo for bed when I received a text from my cousin Paul telling me that a US drone had taken out Iran’s second in command. I have not felt a pit in my stomach like that since 9/11. Robert and I tried to keep the concern out of our voices around Mr. Boo, but he is much too savvy for that. I don’t know if he understood all our words (does he have a context for such words as drone, Iran, second in command?) but he certainly picked up the general vibe. Mr. Boo is highly attuned to vibes. I try to stay neutral around him because he immediately picks up on how I am feeling. If I am stressed or sad, so is he. On the other hand, if I am happy and bouncy, he is over the moon. We rarely watch television because he is so tuned into to tone of voices and background music and this is very upsetting to him. At any rate, the night of the drone attack he did not sleep, and neither did we. He paced, moaned, made banshee noises and bounced off the walls until at least 2:00 am. Obviously, Mr. Boo is not in the mood to go to war. He would rather go bowling and eat French fries.
So, Boo, like his mama, is a pacifist. He is my gentle giant. He does not want war. I am certain he does not approve of children in cages or walls between countries. I keep such images away from him, and to the best of my ability, away from his sister. It is a myth that autistics do not have empathy. My kids ooze empathy, but may have different ways of showing it. When Mouse senses that Robert or I am stressed or sad, she is quick with a hug. Mr. Boo will pile into my lap if he feels things are off. Though some autistics are not wild about touch (I am a bit squiffy about it) my kids love it and need it. They are huggers, lap sitters, will play with your hair or be all over your personal space. As a person who really likes her personal space, two kids, three dogs, two hedgehogs and a husband have gradually beaten down my resistance.
So, let’s take some life lessons from Mr. Boo. Be nice to each other. Don’t build walls or bombs. Share your toys. Pat your dogs. Smile at people. Eat cookies. And, as Alissa would say, “Be good humans.” Peace, Harriet.