Ice cream…and all those GIRLS!!!!!!!

We trekked into town after dinner to get some ice cream.  The local chapter of Autism Speaks U had its fundraiser at the Cold Stone Creamery and J, wearing his Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock t-shirt and some snazzy bermuda shorts, walked in like he owned the place.  The long list of specialty ice cream flavors was dazzling, the parade of sorority girls that walked in while we were ordering was even more dazzling.

We had spent the day indoors for the most part.  A Lego of a cabin in the woods was our main occupation for the morning hours.  J puts these together by himself, but I am on-call for when we must use one of the small, flat pieces that are much too tiny for his hands.  I am there for those things that his size prevent him from doing with ease…such as the ridiculously small Lego pieces that, quite frankly, seem to have no real purpose.  I know, of course, that this is one of those fine-motor skill things that Lego is good for…except when you come from a long line of rustic Southern Italian people who married rustic Spanish people and, as a result, eventually produced strong, sturdy stock with fingers like sausages.  Yes, even the females in the family are like that…I wouldn’t accuse myself of being elfin-like.

Sometime around eleven thirty a.m., J indicated with his finger that it was time to take his hats off, and made me set the timer.  I confess I was dragging my feet today on this matter.  I was worried that, since he’d been gunning for the school-related PECS, he’d be against removing the hats.  I decided that, if my son was willing to voluntarily engage in this experiment, I might as well be audacious: I set the timer for an hour.  I took the bull by the horns (or by the scrum cap/Rasta hat) and went for the gusto.

An hour later, J simply asked for his hats back when the timer rang and I sighed with relief.  This is becoming easier and easier…should I be worried?  It was one of those days when I hesitate and J eggs me on…we went for a walk, we didn’t wear the hat for an hour and…

We sat in the ice cream parlor, happily diving into a scoop of Oreo-filling flavored ice cream.  It was noisy.  It was crowded.  He was the only autistic person in the room.  He was surrounded by women…he was smiling from ear to ear.

We thanked the young ladies in front of the shop for taking the time to do the fundraiser.  We walked back to the car and J smiled all the way.  We felt pretty goofy.  The idea that we can now go places and sit for a snack or a meal, and it’s not something we do with trepidation, feels very good.  I only wish TGG had been there…he has a 12-hour shift at the hospital tonight and J got to smile at all those girls without the back-up of his wingman.  (Maybe that’s why he’s so happy?)

All in all, Spring Break is sailing along…

We got home after a quick stop to gas up the car and grab some water bottles (and J’s favorite bath soap,) and he ran up to his room to listen to Katy Perry.  I wonder if all those sorority girls are dancing around in his imagination, wearing their Autism Awareness t-shirts and smiling as they spin and bounce.

On second thought, I don’t want to know what J’s thinking right now…after all, we all know he’s autistic AND a teenager…



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