I really love the main character in this book, Mum. He explains me.
Astro Boy had been reading ‘Boom’ by Mark Haddon and had loved it so K gave him “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time” to read when he finished.
He doesn’t explain me. He explains my mind with all the questions I have and the fact I love places that other people don’t like, like when he’s in the 5m x 5m x 5m prison cell and he finds it calm…
The Giraffe Princess snorted. He has Aspergers, Astro Boy. You do not have special needs.
Astro Boy does not have Aspergers. She is right about that. But he is on the spectrum of interesting. In the world of diagnoses, he has sensory integration challenges, but how do they explain that other world he has always lived in? His questions? His grasp of deep philosophical issues?
And for all his incredibly normal running, jumping, mine craft obsessed boy-ness, how interesting that he notices his racing mind as different.
He explains me.
How freeing to have yourself explained at the age of eleven. I am still waiting for that revelatory book 30-odd years later.
It is Laura’s birthday today.
K has been away all weekend visiting his unwell friend – a very difficult weekend for him. He is due back late tonight. The kids and I have pottered, carried on with life, because we can, because we must. Friends called for coffee this morning. The kids dispersed. Another friend called this afternoon for a walk.
We talked of grief, of coping, of being pulled apart, pulled down, of carrying on. Is there a magic grieving formula? For daughter loss? Or friend loss? A formula to help you carry on? These days I am carrying on. She is being pulled down.
Two things, I said, have helped me.
Friends. Allowing friends support me.
And dance. I danced at first for fun, but something shifted as I began to move. The dark and heavy weight of grief found movement in my body, untangled, travelled through me and rests now (a little) less heavily in my heart.
My friend left and I raced, late, to collect Giraffe Princess. Somewhere in the leaving and arriving that weight tangled up and crashed down through me and I sat …with GP in the car.
I need a moment. I am feeling sad.
My body felt like lead. My mind was at sea.
GP listened, gave me space. She is growing up. Growing understanding. Growing into quiet sensitivity.
Do you like my outfit? she said. I glanced across at her butterfly earrings, her butterfly tights under the teenage uniform of hoodie and denim shorts.
I have a butterfly theme for today.