"What's it like to be normal?" Tommy asked.
"Normal? I'm not normal. I sniff my food before I eat it. I chew the inside of my cheek. I'm 31 and I still watch Teen Mom. I wouldn't say I'm normal," I answered.
Tommy has Aspergers. Life can be a struggle for him. But I never want him to feel different. Still, he's been asking what it's like to be normal often. But what's normal anyway? Normal is boring, I think. And I told Tommy this.
He shrugged. "It just must be nice to know what to say to people. To not feel....different."
Yes, my heart broke. My boy! My precious boy!
"Honestly Tommy, I don't always know what to say to people. And sometimes I do feel different. A lot of the other mothers around me love crafting and wearing cute shoes. You know disaster happens when I craft and I'm perfectly fine wearing my Sketchers everywhere," I explained.
My son, he doesn't talk much at school. He doesn't really have friends. No one is mean to him, thank goodness, but I wish he had someone. I'm there for him, always, but sometimes a boy wants a friend.
I've told Tommy many times that I think everyone has a piece of autism in them. We all have our quirks. When I was little, I couldn't wear turtleneck shirts or jeans. I felt like I couldn't breathe in them. It's tough for me to look people in the eye even to this day. I can be socially awkward. Sometimes I try to be silly, and I'm given this Look....
So on that day when Tommy asked what it was like to be normal? I also said, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."
"What?" Tommy scowled.
"It's from The Help. But just know you are a great person. Your teachers always marvel on how well behaved you are. There are kids who don't have autism who are always getting in trouble. You aren't like that. Don't ever let having autism hold you back. Nothing can hold you back," I said passionately.
"I won't." Tommy looked around. "Are we done? I sort of want to play Mario..."
I kissed him on the head. "You rock, Tommy."
"Yeah. I know."