As well as being the school play, last week was also Sports Day. I hate Sports Day. In fact, there's one word too many in that sentence. I hate Sports.
Maybe hate is too strong a word... I just don't see the point in it. Like the other week when Andy WhatsHisFace won at Wimbledon. I tried to care, really I did, but ultimately it was just a man hitting a ball into a box painted on the floor with slightly more accuracy than some other bloke hitting the ball into another box painted on the same floor. And then they sat down and drank some squash. I just don't get it.
I suppose it all to comes down to if you are a competitive person or not. I'm not. I couldn't support a football team because if my team won I'd feel sorry for the team that lost because I'd remember how that felt when it happened to me. I'd just want every result to be a draw and then everyone would be happy.
It's a bit like that age-old cliche that PE teachers have been rolling out for years - about how it isn't the winning that counts, it's the taking part. But when you were at school they never meant it. They couldn't hide the disappointment etched on their faces as you once more failed to stop the ball from crossing the goal mouth on a wet, cold, Winter's day. It was never about the taking part.
So, Sports Day at The Boy's school.
The Boy took part in a few races. Even the running races. The Boy who I told you was taking his wheelchair to school only a couple of months ago ran the 50m AND the 100m. He's nothing if not inconsistent... He came second in both races. And alright, it was out of three. And the boy who was third hadn't really grasped the concept of the race but none of that mattered in the slightest.
Then came the long jump. Or to give it its full title, Walking Through A Sandpit. There might not have been much jumping, but that's what made the day so special, none of it mattered, each competitor was cheered on like an Olympian by parents and teachers alike.
Then the javelin. Or Chucking A Foam Dart in a Field. The Boy excelled at this. He was offered three attempts, but he decided one was enough. You can have too much of a good thing.
Then, the final event. The high jump. Or Throwing Yourself Onto a Mattress. Like so many of the other competitors, The Boy's style was slightly less than conventional. But you couldn't doubt his commitment as he flung himself onto that mattress like Lee Majors in The Fall Guy.
It was a brilliant day, marred only by one thing. Parent's Race. I can't tell you who won, as I was hiding behind a gazebo at the time. It's true what they say, it's the taking part that matters...
Last week at school The Boy got a sticker. Yes, in the days of computer games and apps and new technology the sticker is still king. He came out of school leaning over to one side, pushing his chest out, to ensure the sticker could be viewed by everyone waiting. So proud. What did he do to deserve such a fine prize? Well, he got it for "being kind".
Apparently he was in the middle of one of his customary meltdowns in the sensory room. Another pupil, a younger one, was also in the middle of a meltdown. And he wanted in to the sensory room. So, after some negotiation The Boy agreed to temporarily postpone his own meltdown so this younger pupil could continue with his undisturbed.
He was extremely proud of his magnanimous gesture. "I've been very kind", he kept repeating on the way home. We talked about how it was nice to do kind things for people, and how it made you feel good helping others. And it felt like another tiny step forward - a reminder that The Boy will never be cured of his autism, but with the right help and guidance he might well 'learn' some aspects of human behaviour that don't always come naturally to him.
As I pulled up at home The Boy insisted on closing the car door himself. "I'm being kind to you", he said. He said he'd carry his own lunchbox inside as he was being kind to me. He even said I could cook him his dinner whenever I wanted as he was once again being kind to me. Selfless, my son.
Then as we walked into the building where we live, there was a neighbour leaving. She looks around my age, although we've never spoken. I was walking in front, The Boy will never walk in first, only ever behind me. Another little quirk. As I walked in I turned and he was waiting at the door for the neighbour. As she walked past him he shouted at the top of his voice, "DADDY I'M BEING KIND AND HOLDING THE DOOR OPEN FOR THE LADY BECAUSE SHE LOOKS OLD..."
Next time I think I might put the sticker over his mouth.