Footprints and Friendship 

To be completely honest, there was a grieving process I went through long before the loss of my son Alfred. As a mom of Aspie, I mourned the loss of the  “Neurotypical” Al.  Every uninvited birthday party , play date or just about any other social event that kids do together. I admit! I spend many nights crying and hurting over for him. Then I realized… it was just me who was hurting. Alfred had friends and knew lots of people. There were just times for the most part that he preferred to be alone. It was me that needed to accept this. I needed to let go of the idea of what I thought he was missing and take time to see what he really needed. It takes a lot of work and concentration for someone  with Aspergers to filter through the day. Imagine having to filter out background noise, flickering fluorescent lights, smells ..etc just to focus on a teachers lesson.  A crowed cafeteria could be viewed as a battle zone, with all of millions of conversations, the crashing of trays, and smells of all kinds. Then throw in  having to socialize and reading the body language and cues from all of our peers. Remembering everything you need for classes because organization is not a strong point. You finally get organized and settled in a class just to have a bell  ring . This goes on for 8 more periods.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it. So when Al needed some quiet time…. I learned to understand. It was kind of like he was refueling himself.

Now like I said Al did have friends and did enjoy the company of some of his peers. It wasn’t until he was a freshman in high school that he truly made a “Best Friend”.  Someone he made an effort to make plans with and invite over. A friend he talked to me about and wanted me to meet. ( it was a moment I cried tears of joy secretly by myself). Here’s a memory I have of what turned out to be the most wonderful friendships you could only wish for🙂

… I come home from working a very busy shift from work. I take one step in my kitchen and I hear the sound of my shoes sticking to the floor! With every step no matter where I step same sound. I did what anyone would do. I  yell, ” Why am I sticking to the floor?”…. Instantly there is a teenager named Alfred standing in front me. He says, “Well you see Mom….Matt came over..”….( this was my warning ⚠️) ” we accidentally knocked over a bottle of syrup and we tried to clean it up”…. I asked with what and was told with a sponge mop and water. So basically they pushed syrup water all over and around every inch of my kitchen!!!! Frustrated at this point I start to clean my floor. While on my hands and knees just finishing up last spot I look up at our blackboard. It’s a note chalkboard I have by our back door. The note now read          “BUY MORE SYRUP “…… I literally threw in the towel and had a great laugh. I knew at that moment before I even had the chance to be introduced to him… that this was the best friend I could of ever pick for my son Alfred.  The next day I did get to meet this friend who has now become part of our family. It wasn’t until later that the truth about the syrup chugging contest came out ….. but I couldn’t have ask for anyone better as the perfect friend to my son💙

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