Saturday, February 25, 2012

On Pause

Visiting early to pick up his brother for the day, our oldest son is having breakfast with us and talking with his dad about another car project they'd like to get started on. Ideas fly back and forth as our six foot tall thirteen year old shovels his food in at an alarming rate. Our 'baby' is growing as I watch; he's at that wonderful age where he thinks the light bulb in our fridge is for tanning. I get up for the coffee pot to refresh our cups, but Son #1 waves me off. They need to hit the road, says he. Son #2 snags another piece of toast and they head out for a day of 'brother adventures'. Dad is staring at his empty plate, talking about an engine he thinks will work when he notices he is alone. He looks surprised.

"They've taken off for the day, Sweetie." I offer to fill his cup up, but he is oblivious. I can actually see the gears in his head turning as he continues his car project contemplation. I fill my own cup, put the pot back, and begin picking up our breakfast dishes.

I go about my daily routine, and at some point  my husband leaves the room. I put his coffee cup into the dishwasher, and looking out the window, see him heading towards his mecca, our three car shop. As long as I've known him cars have been his passion.

People with Asperger Syndrome, according to Wikipedia, “often display behavior, interests, and activities that are restricted and repetitive and are sometimes abnormally intense or focused.” We know other Aspies whose single interest focus is on trains or guns, music or astronomy, mathematics or airplanes, or simply collecting a specific item such as stamps or beer bottle caps. Narrow, intense focus. All kids will typically have narrow topics of interest when they are small. As adults, immersion into a single subject becomes markedly noticeable. 'Car talk' around our house is non-stop. Fortunately, I love cars.

I’m just about done making dinner when my sweetheart wanders in. “What’s to eat?” he barks. Aspies tend to speak directly and to the point. They often sound rude. But that’s a subject for another day.
I tell him, and suggest he go wash up as dinner will be ready shortly. Noise at the front door announces that our sons are back. “That smells fantastic! When do we eat?” they chorus.
Seated at the table where we began the day, I had just asked the guys about their day's adventures when my husband burst out mid-sentence about various engines for ‘the project.'
Son #1 erupts in laughter as he looks at my startled face. “Dad was on pause again,” he howled.
Tis true, he was. Again. How good it feels to laugh!

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