Marbles as friends.
I stood at the sink absent-mindedly doing dishes. A million thoughts running through my head of upcoming doctor visits, blood draws, back to school shopping, grocery lists.
I'm on auto-pilot as David comes into the kitchen.
DAVID: "Mom, have you seen my marble that was on the breakfast bar?"
ME: "Yes I put it in the basket when I was cleaning."
DAVID: "There it is. I painted a face on it mom."
ME: "Yeah I saw that! It was cute."
DAVID: "I did it because I don't have any friends, so I made one."
Then he hurried off back to his room and I began hearing the clank of marbles.
I stopped doing dishes and absorbed what he just head. My heart broke again for him, my eyes filled with tears and all the issues associated with Autism came flooding back, as it does almost daily.
A feeling of loneliness and friendlessness is common among ASD children. David is no different. His social awkwardness drives many away. He doesn't mean too. And believe me we do teach him daily about social cues and such.
Though ASD children can learn and adpat, it can take years to do so. In the meantime as he makes baby steps, he still loses friends.
I can't lie, a feeling of failure as a parent washed over me as well. Though I know it's not "my fault", it's still hard to get the heart to believe it.
Like any parent these are the times that you wish you could wave a magic wand and make it all better. Yet that's not reality and life goes on.
I'm thankful for the few friends that he does have. And I'm saddened when his social awkwardness pushes others away. What I as a mother see as silly or even endearing, often is annoying and a put off to others. I know that. I accept that. But I wish it didn't have to be that way.
You see, I know that David is smart, funny [even when he doesn't mean to be], curious, and creative. In between the constant chatter, meltdowns, and an inability to read people in social situations there is this boy that can make you smile.
I hope one day as he grows, he'll find forever friends that he adores and adore him AND understand this mother's heart.