Sunday, April 09, 2006

Match.com


It was a few weeks ago, just before Valentine’s Day that I was getting Dear Son off the school bus when I happened to ask Patrick about his plans for the weekend. Patrick , as you many of you know, is the young man who rides the little yellow school bus with Dear Son and with whom I talk to briefly, every day, while waiting for the bus driver to get Dear Son off the school bus. He informed me that he was going to see, “Disney Stars on Ice” on Saturday evening. I told him that sounded great and asked who he was going with. I expected him to tell me that he was going with his mother and father however I was wrong. Patrick said, “I am going with my girlfriend”. His words hit me like a lightening bolt. I am not sure if I was more surprised that he had a girlfriend or the fact that I don’t have a boyfriend or what. I suppose if I were to be truthful, it bothered me because it means these kids are old enough for “dating”. At 14, I was just getting used to putting deodorant on Dear Son before school and shaving his face every three weeks. And now, these kids are “dating”?

My first hint that I might have something to worry about came when Dear Son was just three years old or so. By that time, he had outgrown a stroller and was in a wheelchair. I would walk him along the Riverwalk in our neighborhood, which was a paved walking trail that ran along side the River, that meandered on the edge of our subdivision. It was a beautiful area, full of trees, where the little boys would often go fishing. Inevitably, I would run into a neighbor and start chatting. Dear Son, if he found the woman attractive, would flip off his right tennis shoe. He could not talk of course, but that did not make a difference. He would look at her with those big blue eyes and smile. My neighbor, would then comment that he lost his shoe and proceed to put the shoe on Dear Son. Dear Son would delight in this phenomenon, so much so, that he would repeat the shoe toss, about ten more times, each time delighting in the fact, that the woman would give him her undivided attention and dote all over him. He was very selective however, and it was not all of my neighbors. Only the women who wore perfume or were blond. I had soon learned that the shoe toss, was his “pick up” line.

Then there was “R”. He was only ten for goodness sakes when his teacher informed me over a parent teacher conference that Dear Son had a girlfriend. Thank goodness I was sitting down. She was the little girl with the crooked bangs in Santa’s Workshop which I referenced in yesterday’s post. She was a small little thing and when I came to the classroom, she quickly grabbed my hand to hold onto it. It was so tiny but even more amazing was how soft her skin was. It was the softest skin I have ever felt. The teacher informed me, that “she” played matchmaker after seeing the kids enjoy each other’s company. I was not sure that I thought that matchmaking was such a great idea at that age, but I soon decided that if Dear Son was happy, I could live with it. After all, I was pretty safe since Dear Son couldn’t walk, use his hands or talk. Right? It wasn’t until they had a Going Away Party for Dear Son at school when I learned that the relationship with “R” was more serious than I initially thought. They created a photo album with memories for Dear Son. Here was Dear Son with “R” at his birthday party in November, here was Dear Son with “R” for Valentine’s Day (pictured above along with their classroom aide) and here was “R” sitting on his lap for St. Patrick’s Day, etc, etc. Apparently, this relationship had gone on for some time.

Currently, there’s “J”. “J” is a quiet young woman with doe like eyes and long light brown hair, in his classroom. She rides the little yellow school bus with Dear Son and always watches him get on and off the bus. The wheelchair ramp is located in the rear of the bus, which is behind her seat. Most days, Dear Son’s head hangs down when he's sitting in the wheelchair, because he can no longer support it, and because he needs the new “tilt” wheelchair for support. However, that does not seem to deter “J”. In the morning, when she sees him, her eyes “lock” into position and she never takes her eyes off of him until he is on the bus. I always call her the exorcist, because her head spins around to stay focused on Dear Son, while the bus backs up into the driveway. She never says a word though, and I am not sure if she even speaks. I was getting him off the school bus the other day though, when the bus driver informed me, that “J” was making eyes at Dear Son. He was quick to point out though, that Dear Son was giving her the “eyes” right back. I was glad it was a short bus ride home.

What is most amazing about these teenagers though is that they “have” girlfriends. I see the ads for eHarmony all the time on television and for Match.com on my pc and they are always trying to help you find a mate or even better, a “soulmate”. Dr. Phil has now hooked up with Match.com to help us. We are able bodied people, we can talk, we can walk, we can do everything and yet we are so handicapped when it comes to relationships.

These kids, have some or none of these things. They can’t talk, they can’t walk, their hands don’t work, they can’t feed themselves and yet they are happy. You love them because they delight over the smallest things. When they are happy, you feel their joy in every part of your being. When they are sad, their tears will break your heart. But they live every day, “in the moment”. Their relationships, are based on who they are and trust. There are no false pretenses, no games, nothing. Their relationships do not have any boundaries because they don’t understand boundaries. They have found a way to connect with each other and to enjoy each other’s company. They live every day from the heart. Hmmm...maybe that’s the secret.

10 comments:

Dreaming again said...

When my son was 5, he went to a school for special needs children. It was (is) called The Little Light House.
He'd never been able to make any kind of connection with kids outside of our family ... sibling and cousins were his only friends.

Well, this one little girl with spina bifida managed to break down that wall of his ... and they decided they were going to get married. (when they grew up of coarse)

The teacher apologized over and over again. I kept saying "WHY? HE's socializing!" It the first clue that we had that the autism diagnosis might not be quite right.

After the teacher's realized parents weren't upset ..they capitalized on the relationship. They taught Benjamin how to help this little girl get into and out of her wheelchair, and how to brace her walker for stopping in line. She had NO learning disabilities, and he would sit for 10x's longer with her as he would with any adult, so they'd have her 'tutor' my son. They'd use each of the kids strengths to aid the other child.

It was a beautiful time to watch those too. The little girl used to tell me "Don't worry Miss Peggi, we won't have kids until Benjamin learns to behave without thinking"
(he was very impulsive)

Now, he's 14, and he's really getting ineterested in girls ... I'm wondering if the relationships will come as easy ... will they see his charm and grace ....

Wrkinprogress said...

John Lennon said it best, I think: All you need is love. :)

With love,
WIP<--who is a blonde and wears perfume, and is a sucker for blue eyes :)

Anonymous said...

They have found a way to connect with each other--because they are human and have the same needs as the rest of us-- despite how they are challenged physically or mentally. Imagine only being able to live an authentic life--to only tell the truth--no masks--the good and the bad. When you contemplate what it truely means these children are living powerful lives. Blessed are the Pure of Heart!

Danielle said...

That is a great picture! I love how the aide is holding thier hands together..it goes well with the title. Dear Son is just SOOOO cute. I can't get over it. Everytime I see a picture of him I think he gets cuter. LOL

Great post

Lois Grebowski said...

My brother Anthony has a girlfriend. She keeps him on a short leash...I get the biggest kick out of it. He was born w/ down syndrome ( as well as his girlfriend). It a famous love story at the facility where he lives. He's 46 and she's in her 30's(?)-- soulmates.

Thanks for the smile...Love conquers all...Hugs to you and dear son.

Dream Mom said...

Thank you all for your comments.

Anonymous, I think you hit the nail on the head about living an authentic life. I have always thought that their lives were a sort of "model" for the rest of us.

Danielle-I am glad you liked the pic. I try to match the picture to the story or to showcase one of Dear Son's abilities that I reference in the post. Loved your comment about him getting cuter. I agree too, except I am his Mom;)

Lois-That must really be something. I have always found those Down Syndrome children to be so beautiful-inside and out. What a cute love story!

WIP-I can see that I will now have to keep my eye on you! Your comment made me laugh!

zoe said...

My son has always been a "gentleman who prefers blonds" starting at the ripe old age of 3! From psychological examiners to speech or o.t. or p.t. --if they were blond and pretty he was a willing participant! As he got older, especially in his teen years (he is now 23) he would tell us "I like pretty girls" Once he confiscated a womens clothing catalog that had come in the mail because he had found a picture of a pretty woman in it. He would ask us what her name was and if she could come over. This went on for several weeks I asked him one day what he would do if she came over-- he looked at the picture for a minute and said "I would dance with her" It is true that men are visually wired and I suppose his wiring is intact! still it was and still is interesting to see my son express it in the only way he can--honestly and simply.

Lois Grebowski said...

What makes it so special is that I have a picture of the two from a cruise. They are on the pool deck, each in their own lounge chairs and a towel over their laps. They're sharing the same towel...Life is good!

Love makes the world go round!

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I like your story.
But you'd better take a look here to find a really DIFFERENT dating site.
Looks amazing, agree? :-)
You can also find my pics and more about me on my page www.livedatesearch.com/jessica
Read more about me or drop me a message from there.
Chao!
Jessica

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I like your story.
But you'd better take a look here to find a really DIFFERENT dating site.
Looks amazing, agree? :-)
You can also find my pics and more about me on my page www.livedatesearch.com/jessica
Read more about me or drop me a message from there.
Chao!
Jessica

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