Just look at how calm water can be:
For Theodore a bath, or a visit to the pool, just changes everything. This kid, like most autistic kids, is drawn to the water. It transforms him. If he’s not feeling all that great. Add water. Different kid.
If he is unruly and, my new phrase, his autism is “showing.” Add water. Most of the time he’ll calm down.
And then something miraculous happened this summer. You see while Theodore is a huge fan of water, and pools, he would want NOTHING to do with water that was coming out of a hose or sprinkler. No way. Don’t bother me with that…just give me a pool, please. TO the point where he would just RUN away!
Now, he has made FRIENDS with the sprinkler. He loves it. Laughing. Giggling. Running around. CHASING his sisters…this is not solo…this is interacting!
When his laughter fills the air, and you see him running around the sprinkler — just like every other kid — you really start to appreciate the little things. You step back a bit and say, hey, he gets it. He always did. But now he acts just like every other kid.
That’s what summer is all about.
But wait! There is MORE to this story.
Just last weekend, while Theo tried to pick up said sprinkler (holding it up to his chest and running through the back yard. SO wish I was recording this…) he was interacting with his sister Gretchen.
Now, Gretchen and Theo have always shared a close personal bond. He often goes to Gretchen at daycare when the teachers/aides can’t figure out quite what he wants…
Anyhow, he was chasing the girls, and with Olena who kept reminding him, “Cast! Theo CAST!”… he grabbed Gretchen by her shoulders and pulled her close to him, and if he was going to tell her a secret.
“Mom, what is he doing?”
(Me, laughing…) He wants you to say something to him.
Gretchen pondered for a bit. “Well, what do I say mom?”
Just tell him to “get the water.”
So again, he comes plodding through the wet grass grabbing Gretchen by the shoulders, pulling her close.
In her best non-whisper she says “GO GET THE WATER THEO.”
At this point he’s laughing so hard that they BOTH tumble to the ground.
“Oh, mom! He’s HEAVY!”
Yes, yes he is Gretchen. I couldn’t stop laughing at them and just enjoying the interaction. Until, of course, he got a bit too rough. But by then it was time to pack it in.
The laughter and giggles heard on that day will last a lifetime.
Until next time.