1. Write something to say thank you to some who has made a difference to your life,
- Inspired by the Moiderer’s ‘People I’d like to thank‘
Sleep is for the Weak - Wednesday Writing Workshop Challenge.
Those of you who follow my blog have seen the thank you shout outs to my family, friends, and professionals in my life. This one is a little different, so please bear with me.
I have two sons, Boy 1 and Boy 2, but there is another boy who holds a very special place in my heart and this is his story.
The first time I ever laid eyes on him is ingrained deeply into my mind. Big Boy was in the childcare centre swimming pool with Boy 1 (aged three, approaching four). Boy 1 was clinging to his father scared, unsure, only knowing that if Dad was there he would be alright, wouldn't he? This was not the first of his lessons, in fact it was about six lessons in, not counting those baby classes which he tolerated with disdain. In walks this skinny, tanned little bloke who looks over the class in the pool, breaks into a toothy grin and bellows: "L - maaaatey. Yer in the pool, look at ya, yer in the pool! Good one! Maaatey" Boy 1 begins to smile. He must be okay, his best mate just said so. And so begins our life with C. And one of the most incredible friendships I have ever seen.
At daycare they were inseparable, and in the early times there was a third boy. The three musketeers. Well, more like a slightly nervy, nerdy Woody Allen support group, but still strongly bonded. The three of them trundled off to Preschool (Qld system, now prep or kinder in southern states), with big reservations from Boy 1's daycare teachers. By this time we were well on the diagnosis trail. Boy 1 was attending speech therapy, and in the midst of multiple assessments by other professionals. All information was passed onto the school, but even a pre-prepared Preschool was a huge challenge for Boy 1. I often think that he would not have survived that first year if it had not been for C.
C, oh what a glorious friend to have. One day I was dropping off something to the school later in the morning. By this day, the third musketeer had moved interstate and another little man was trying to break into the friendship. Sadly, he did not want Boy 1 as part of the package, and was doing his best to drive a wedge between C and L. Totally oblivious to my presence I was able to watch, invisible to the participants of the little scene. The new friend was grabbing C by the shoulder and saying "I want to talk to you." C put him off with a "I'm talking to L, just wait." as he shrugged off the hand. He then took both of Boy 1's hands in his, calming the flapping arms, bent forward to catch L's eye and said: "L. Look at me, come on, look at me, Now breath slowly. That's it, look at me, I want to tell you something."
I nearly cried. To watch this gorgeous little man, wise beyond his years, communicate so perfectly with my autistic son. My heart swelled. So many times has this child amazed me, so much wisdom and compassion packed into such a little package. When Boy 1 repeated Preschool C sat me down for a very serious conversation. It went like this:
"Madmother, I need to talk to you."
"Okay C, how can I help?"
"I am worried about L repeating Preschool, I don't know how he will be without me to help him." Huge, wide brown eyes gaze sincerely into mine. Lips tremble, oh so slightly - his as well as mine.
"Oh C. You know how you can read and write so well? Well L can't and needs to stay in Preschool to learn."
"MM, I've been thinking about that. If he comes into first grade with me I can help him, and I can teach him in the breaks. I can teach him to read!"
"Oh sweetie, that just wouldn't work. It will be okay, you will still be friends."
What an old head on such young shoulders. I could tell you of many scenarios like that one, I could let you know that they plan to flat together when older, to be best men at each others weddings, to be friends, and I quote, "until after they die."
In nine years of friendship they have never fought, not one cross word. Yes, they are still friends. Even through different grades, different schools, and with C moving out of the district. I now believe they will be friends forever. Boy 1 is doing well, way beyond what anyone expected in those early terrifying years (other than his parents, of course) and C accepts and supports him quirks and all. They are still very different, but so close. It is one of the most relaxed friendships I have ever seen, both seem to just let all the stresses of life go when they are together. I think L would never have come so far without C. And so to him I say thanks. Thank you for being my son's friend. Thank you for being a part of our lives. As L's teacher aide commented in the repeat year after I lamented the fact that Boy 1 had not made a new friend like C...
"MM, most people never have a connection like L and C do. A friendship like that is a precious rarity to be treasured. Everyone would love to have a C in their lives, their bond is the true definition of best friends."
Nothing more to be said.