My boy is growing so much this year, and in so many ways.
When we came home from school today, Kyle immediately grabbed the leash and announced that he was taking Percy for a walk. When we got this dog, it was difficult for him to handle all the energy a 10 week old puppy can dish out. He would try to play with him, get scratched or nipped, then stomp off to his room to read a book or something.
Now here he was offering to spend time with the dog, go outside and actually walk down the street without being prompted. I do suspect he was trying to avoid dealing with the news I had given him on the ride home.
Earlier that day, I went into our den to get the vacuum cleaner. We keep our pet gerbil, Goldie there on Kyle’s desk. Whenever I am in there, I take a peek to make sure all is well. Normally, I tap the cage door and she peeks out at me. I usually give her a pumpkin seed or one of the unidentified pellets from her seed mixture. She particularly liked the pinkish ones.
Today it was very quiet in there, so I tapped the cage door. I could see her curled up in the shred at the bottom of her cage. She didn’t move so I tapped again. Nothing. She was gone.
I picked Kyle up right after school. I wanted him to have plenty of time in the evening to shed tears and say his goodbyes. There would still be homework and evening chores, so it would be better if he met with his friends another day.
I told him in the car while we were still in the school parking lot. Even though she was almost 5 years old, he blamed himself for not taking better care of her. Now he was taking this walk before he chose to go see her.
He was only gone about ten minutes. I was surprised and asked if everything had gone ok. He said it did, but he decided to turn around before he reached the end of the road. “There was a girl walking in front of me. She kept turning around and staring at me. I think she thought I was following her and I was freaking her out. So, I turned around early.”
Something people with Asperger’s have difficulty with is reading social clues. Especially, non-verbal ones. The fact that he noticed that he was making her nervous, even though she didn’t say anything to him is a huge step forward for him.
So, now it was time to take care of Goldie. He approved of the box I found, but insisted on putting clean bedding in it for her. “That’s to apologize to her for not taking better care of her” he said. I chose a place in the garden behind the gardenia. He liked the idea that the bush will have white flowers soon. I had dug the hole already when he came out with the box. Then he suddenly decided she needed a toilet paper tube in there with her and ran back inside.
You see, empty toilet paper tubes were the only chew toy Goldie enjoyed. We spent more money on that silly little rodent than I ever dreamed I would. But she ignored every chew block, biscuit and stick we got her. Finally, one of us stuck an empty toilet paper tube in there for her to crawl through. She promptly chewed it to bits! From then on, we couldn’t use tp fast enough for her. Sometimes I would even bring one home for work.
Kyle was back outside in a few moments and gently put the box in the hole. He took the shovel from my hands and covered the hole with soft dirt. He gave it a couple pats and looked at me. I raked the mulch over and gave him a hug. Then we walked inside.
In the kitchen, we made hot chocolate. We whipped some cream, heated the milk and stirred in the chocolate. As we sipped together, we talked of hot chocolate and how to make the best cup. No more was said of the little golden ball of fur that had gone on without us.
Dear Lord, thank you for my wonderful son. I pray he will continue to grow strong, wise and to be a man chasing after your heart. Amen