Saturday, 18 January 2014


The Boy Child attended a birthday party today ~ pizza making and bowling.
It was the first time that we had dropped him off and then left the premises.
We didn't go far, just across the carpark to the coffee shop.
We met up with the father of The Boy Child's best friend.
The Boy Child had never been bowling before.  We'd always felt that the noise would overwhelm him (and neither of us are particularly into bowling).
When we arrived to collect him (a little early so we could see what was going on), we found him bouncing like Tigger and obsessed with the bowling balls and the return mechanism (the thing that brings the balls back from behind the pins).
The noise was incredible.
Twenty eight lanes in use and booming crap music.
His classmate, Miss Z announced that The Boy Child had dropped a ball on her leg, on purpose.
We heard him shout "loser" at Miss Z when her ball went awry.
We saw him drop a ball in the rack without noticing that the birthday girl's older brother was taking a ball out.
You know what happened, don't you?
Trapped fingers.
We saw him trying to "help" his friends by carrying the bowling balls.
They didn't want his help and told him so, some of them quite vociferously.
We saw him score a strike (is that the correct expression?), much to our astonishment.
We saw him finish with the highest score of all his classmates.
I saw the gulf beginning to widen.
I saw the sophistication of his classmates.
And I wanted to cry.


Annesphamily said...

Oh Ruth! Your boy is precious. My own youngest son was diagnosed with ADHD as a small child. It was difficult and he in college now as a runner. Scholarship, enjoying life. Your son must be one amazing kid. I was always a terrific bowler. I have two friends, one has a son, age 15 with forms of autism. My friend Alyn has a grandson (11) , mild autism. Seth the older boy had major surgery for scoliosis. He is such a survivor but he can be the most kind and gentle young fellow. Lennon has always been a busy boy. They say Aspergers Syndrome. He is very bright and they have always tried to keep his interests close to his heart and it has helped him so much. I will pray for your precious boy. My friend, who grew up in Japan, says her grandmother use to say children such as your boy child have pure souls and most of us can't grasp the depth of it. Only God Himself can. I am taken back today when children get so aggravated with other children, especially someone struggling with his or her own feelings. We were raised very different. We had to take a deep breathe and as the nuns I was schooled with would say, pray. We were never allowed to be unkind. It was a rule and no one I knew and grew up ever broke it! I grew up with a silly fellow, Ricky. He grew up to be the finest engineer and raised a wonderful phamily with his wife Debbie who I also attended school with. They are smart. Richard as we know him today, came from a phamily with mental retardation. He had a wicked temper as a young boy but he grew out of it and one of his youngest sisters passed away from Toxic Shock Syndrome. She was the girl who had the most severe retardation. I think Richard was misdiagnosed. It was odd, he and his sister Joanne were fine expect for his temper. One sister was mildly retarded as it was known in my youth and the youngest girl was severe. Such a sadness but the parents raised their kids proudly. It's what we do as parents. I know I am rambling but my heart aches for you when you see sadness and unkindness for your beautiful boy. I do not understand. I know we can all be short tempered but I think we need more parents teaching their kids that everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about and we should do one thing about it: spread more kindness. There is nothing I hate worse than seeing my child in pain or being ignored by their peers. I am a fighter and often my husband has cuffed me like a wild kitten when I want to make it all right! My own grandmother use to tell me that God gives beautiful children who need extra love and attention to very special parents. He is all knowing who can and can not handle it. You are blessed with your remarkable son. I will end by saying Yeaaaaaaa on that high score. I was born a bowling nerd so it excites me.

alexa said...

Oh, Ruth, my heart goes out to you ... And yet he managed to be there and find his way through all on his own :). It's a bumpy journey, this one - hang on in there!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Ruth, I wish I was there to give you a hug. Know one is coming to you through cyberspace.

I completely agree with you about spreading kindness. It is imperative. I say that and try to do it, yet the other day I saw two people who hurt a friend of mine very, very badly, and I wanted to knock them into the next century. If punching were legal, I would have thrown a right cross, several times. ;-) I have a zero tolerance policy for bullies of any age.

Despite the problems, I think it is wonderful that the Boy Child scored the highest score. Hooray for him! Bowling a strike is amazing at any age, and it is fantastic that he did it his first time out. Maybe he has found something at which he can excel. I wonder how he would do at billiards? He must have good aim if he can bowl a strike. Bowling can actually be a lot of fun. Give it a shot and see what you think. I have done it, and I once dated a boy who was practically a champion in college.



Margaret J said...

Focus on the positive - he stayed the course AND got the highest score.

Amy said...

What I like is that you were all willing to let him have a go - finding some activities that he likes and is good at is going to be really good for his self esteem and it will also help him connect with his peers; and he will make connections.
Whole class parties are so full on .... I cringe when my kids are at them - mainly because they all seem to turn into crazy sugar-hyped beings, despite normally having reasonably socially acceptable behaviour!

Ladkyis said...

Girl you are allowed to feel like that. It's in the contract -you know the one that you and the Brainy one signed up for. Richer, poorer, sick or well, embarrassed or proud, angry or sad. They are all in that contract. You are seeing more because of the diagnosis. His friends don't see that they just see an over excited boy who is a bit loud and very eager to please. It will change as he grows, You know it will, it might just take longer than you expect - and that's OK too.
You are so strong to be able to step back and let him experience life in the raw. Give yourself a pat on the back and remember to rake an extra pack of tissues next time.

debs14 said...

Ruth, I have hosted similar birthday parties when my son was young, and let me assure you that I have witnessed a lot of boys without autism acting identically to this! You will be super sensitive to his actions but believe me, there will be others who were acting up too. And it was his first time in that environment so he had no idea what was going on and what to do. If he got a strike he must have been good at the actual bowling, why not take him back, with maybe one good friend and go through how you take turns and wait for the balls to come back? I did smile at the part where he called someone a loser! Wherever did he learn that? I'm sure he doesn't hear it at home! But that is typical birthday over excitement behaviours for a 6 year old boy. Please don't beat yourself up about it. You were all brave enough to try and you can now talk about it and discuss what might have been a better way to act. My friends son - who did not have autism- would never stay at parties. Just could not cope with them. So I think he has done very well to stay and participate. Sending hugs to you all x x

Missus Wookie said...

Agreeing with all those sending hugs. One of the most helpful things from GOSH (where Ewok was diagnosed) was a comment about remembering that he was emotionally a couple years younger than his age mates. He also loves bowling so we did take him and walk through what to do and how to win graciously ;)

Tis always hard working out what is age appropriate stuff, what is just Ewok stuff and what is the diagnosis stuff.... Well done on letting him stay and learn.

scrappyjacky said...

Ruth....I do hope you are feeling a lot more positive after reading the comments on your FB page....and it is so true that ALL children can find new experiences [and large,noisy parties] hard to cope with.

Sian said...

There's a lot of very wise stuff here - I'm not sure I can add anything. But I know it's true, lots of every kind of boy this age will experience all this and more. They all get left behind in something at some point, honestly, all of them do. And if they are lucky they find one thing, and it only needs to be one thing, that can help build them up and make friends who like the same thing. It sounds like bowling might be one of his things..

Sian said...
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Sian said...
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Beverly said...

Ruth, I think you and TBO should be very proud that you let him fully experience it and that even though there were missteps, there were definitely highlights.

Liz said...

He scored a strike. He got the highest score. He stayed without you and was OK. He has manners enough to want to help his friends, He joined in. Don't worry about the rest of it. All kids mature at different rates and eventually they all catch up. Tell him Auntie Liz says well done and that she'll be expecting him to show her how to get a strike when we go bowling in the summer. xxx

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