The doll and I were walking home from Mass yesterday, when a conversation about the boy began. “Mom, what were you and Mr. N talking about?” She wondered. “When I wished him good morning, he told me how much he misses having the boy in his class this semester, so I thanked him and then bragged a little bit about the applause he received at Friday’s assembly,” I explained. “Why are you so geeked up about that?” She replied. “Because it’s a mother’s prerogative to be,” I replied. “But mom, you know he’s well liked, right?” She asked. “Well I do now, but you have to understand, since he doesn’t go to any extracurricular events for the school, it’s been hard for me to gauge whether he has friends, besides the office staff,” I replied.
“You can put your fears aside mom, he does have friends,” She returned. “Doll, you have to understand, middle school was so difficult and your dad and I didn’t realize he was autistic then. We just thought his quirks were due to the ADD meds and stuff, so we did everything wrong until seventh grade. But then on his fist day of eighth grade, he attends a pool party at his one good buddy’s house, believing he’s safe and going to have a great time and what happens? He comes home with a black eye,” I explained. “Oh yeah, I had forgotten about that…” “And I received a call to “rescue” him, from another parent who happened to arrive about the time everything got out of hand. So when I arrived, I found him in the pool, refusing to get out-so he wouldn’t give the other boys the satisfaction of chasing him out. What’s more, I got to overhear all the taunts they shot at him,” I said. “You have no idea how difficult it is for a parent to not to turn and rip all the heads off those mouthy boys…” I added. “So you see, the fact that he’s well liked, maybe even loved by his high school class, is very satisfying for me,” I explained.
“Wow, yeah, I see your point,” My doll began, “Sometimes I feel like the worst sister…” “No you’re not, the squabbles you both have is normal, everyday stuff. Like I’ve told you hundreds of times before, next to me and your uncle Dan, you’re angels…” I replied. “I know, but…” She said. “Doll, remember when we pulled the Winnie the Pooh border out of his bedroom and he was really upset? You comforted and helped him. You’re the best little big sister…” I said and she smiled. “Oh, maybe this is why my friends see me as the ‘Mother-friend of the group,'” she replied. Chuckling I said, “Doll, one more thing, your acts of kindness toward him hasn’t gone unnoticed. Your brother cares about you in so many ways,” I replied siting a well known example, “When your dad was sick and the emergency squad was in the driveway, upon arriving home, the first thought that popped into his head was not, ‘I hope nothing is wrong with mom or dad,’ but rather, ‘I hope the doll is okay…'” She nodded, took in what I said and acted and seeming a little embarrassed said, “How did we get onto this dumb conversation anyway…”
Smiling I replied, “Because it’s a mother’s prerogative to be proud of her kids–both her kids…”