Friday, January 28, 2011

Losing My Son at the Pool

Since conversation is difficult for Aspies, I get tired quickly. So one day by the side of a friend's pool when I'd put out all the words I could, I fell silent, and my friend chattered on to fill the silence, the way neuro-typical people often do. When I reached the point where I'd also taken in all the words I could, I looked around the pool for an escape.

And immediately saw it. Where the dickens was my son? There was my friend's son in the pool, but I didn't see mine. I stood up in alarm.

My friend said something else, but I ignored her. Rude, but hey, even neuro-typicals have difficulty with conversation when their child may be drowning.

I walked the length of the pool, scanning the bottom, but he wasn't there, so my pounding heart started easing up. I stared hard at my friend's son to make sure he was hers and not mine. Most pre-adolescent males look alike to me, so I'd had to put red shoestrings in my son's shoes in order to differentiate him, but the child in the pool wasn't wearing shoes, so he could have been mine.

So I took a chance and asked him, "Where's David?" busily planning what to say if he turned out to be David.

The child shrugged, confirming my hypothesis that he wasn't David, and I turned to go look for my son.

I crossed the grass and went into the trees beyond, doubting that my son would have gone there, but it was an appealingly isolated place to continue the search. After all that talking, I really needed some alone-time. And then I heard him calling me from up ahead: "Mom! Mom!" His voice sounded strained, low, and . . . sorrowful.

So I ran. Oh, how I ran. I was gasping for air by the time I cleared the trees, and worrying what I'd do if he couldn't walk; how in the world could I carry him the distance to the house, but how could I leave him alone and injured while I went for help?

"Mom!" he called again. "Mom!"

I ran clear of the trees and nearly smack into a barbed wire fence, which brought me up short, and I saw that I'd arrived. Only the voice hadn't been saying, "Mom! Mom!" It'd been saying, "Moo! Moo!"

"You are not my son," I told her with uncommon certainty.

"Munh?" she asked in a distressed voice.

"I'm sorry," I said.

She blew through her nose.

"I can't find my son," I explained.

I walked back feeling quite foolish and found my son playing with a toy car in the dirt just outside the pool area.

"Where'd you go?" my friend asked.

"Little walk," I said, and sat down ready for some normal conversation.

Click for more information on Asperger's and Prosopagnosia.

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