My son was all, "It's homecoming week. I guess. But I don't care."
I asked if he wanted me to take him to the football game. Or the dance. Something.
"Ew, no," Tommy replied, wrinkling his nose. Obviously I know he hates sports. But I wanted him to know that I would take him if he wanted.
Honestly, I don't know if he'll go to any of his high school dances. He skipped the middle school ones. I won't force him to go.
I went. I didn't attend many games, because yawn, but the dances I showed up to. I'd go with a bunch of girlfriends and we'd giggle and point out the boys we liked. Sometimes we had dates. Other times we didn't.
I'm learning my son is different. He has autism, and being in social situations isn't fun for him. They weren't always fun for me, but I went for the excitement. I went to see if the boy I liked would dance with me. (He did. But it was terribly awkward.) In my senior year I met Tommy's Daddy and it wasn't so awkward. Or maybe it was because I was older and more mature. I don't know.
I do wrestle with wondering if I should have him go to a high school event. Suppose he regrets not going when he's older?
But. I have talked to other people who said they never did any of the typical high school things and don't regret it at all. I never went to any football games and I don't regret not going because again, how boring.
Tommy is only a freshman. Maybe he'll surprise me down the line and say he wants to go to a dance. Perhaps he'll meet a lady who accepts him for who he is. Maybe she'll have autism too. Maybe she won't.
It stings a little to know that I might not have photos of him in a rented tuxedo putting a corsage on a date. I see many of those on Facebook. I remind myself that not everyone is the same. My boy doesn't want to go to Homecoming. THEIR boy does.
I do wonder if I should push him into an extra-curricular activity. But he doesn't want to join any. No sports. No clubs, because, ick, other people. I did plays in high school. My parents forced me to do cross-country and I vowed that I would never force a child of mine to do something they didn't want to do. I was miserable in cross-country.
Is my son missing out on a true high school experience?
Well, no, I guess not. Because it's his experience.
It might be different from mine. It might be different from yours.
But it's his.