A boy in Flower’s class wants to marry her. He told the other kids that he wants to marry her, and another kid told him that he can’t marry Flower because Flower has autism.
OK, first of all, wait, hold on, HE WANTS TO MARRY FLOWER? I mean, they’re only eight, but still, how adorable is that?
Also, he can too marry Flower if she wants, and if he is prepared to support her in the manner to which she is accustomed and cut her “m’apercados” just how she likes them and provide her store brand Pediasure, chocolate cake and pizza. And nobody should be telling him otherwise.
So we got an invite to this boy’s birthday party and I emailed his mom that Flower and I would come, and she wrote back saying, “That’s great, because S. told me he only cares if Flower goes. He loves Flower and talks about her all the time.”
I did what I usually do in those situations, which is praise the parents for raising such a compassionate kid, and the mom brushed it off, basically implying that it is NOT compassion at all on S.’s part, that he really really just loves Flower. He says that Flower is his best friend, and he talks about her all the time.
When we got to the party, which was at a theater, where they were performing a play that S. was in, and they introduced S. in order to sing him happy birthday. And from the stage, S. was waving. At me? No, not at me. At Flower, who was all smiles. And the second the play was over, S. bounds into the audience just to give Flower a hug. “Flower!” he said, “I”m so glad you came!” He tried to bring her with him to the dressing room, but that was discouraged.
At the party, S. insisted that Flower sit next to him and go wherever he went, including the bathroom. (They’re only eight!) And Flower just loved it, she clearly loves S., and she loves the attention, and she loves, she can tell, that for S., it’s more than being nice or tolerating her because the teacher said to. S. just really likes Flower. He likes hanging out with her. He likes seeing what she’ll do. He hums part of a song, and Flower finishes it. And then they laugh! The first time I met him, he said, “Flower has such a pretty singing voice, I love how she sings all day.”
At the end of the party, I found out that S. is moving away at the end of the school year. I’m pretty bummed out about it. But we can only hope, as parents, as our kids make their way through life, that they will find people who really like them, just for themselves.