Sometimes it's easy to forget just how far The Boy has come over the years. It's half term, and Friday's four hour journey to visit family up North took closer to eight. And sitting in traffic on the M6 reminded me just how painful the trip used to be. The Boy trying to open the car door at 70 miles per hour, or Dad being struck in the back of the head with a book because we aren't there yet, they're all things that by and large seem to be in the past now. Instead we played games to pass the time.
"Let's play I-Spy", I said.
"Okay. I'll go first"
"I Spy something beginning with N"
"I've only just started guessing..."
"Right. Now do you give up?"
"No! N... N... Nissan?"
"Don't worry. Erm... Nettles?"
"No. Give up?"
"No. The answer is Nothing... My go again as I won..."
I was worried about once we arrived too, the greeting he might have in store. As a toddler whenever we arrived he would ignore his grandparents outstretched arms and run straight past them to say hello to the dogs and the goldfish. An hour later I'd hear him screaming, seemingly in agony, and I'd rush to his aid to discover The Grandmother had given in and tried to sneak a hug from her grandson who she hadn't seen for months... Confused and hurt, she'd step away and retreat once again.
So while we're stuck in traffic on Friday I called my mum to let her know we'd be arriving late. I said I'd let her know when we get closer. She was on speakerphone, and at the end of the call as I said goodbye, The Boy suddenly grabbed the phone. Lifting it to his mouth, he blurted out, "Love you, Nana!"
"Love you too sweetheart", she replied, the pride in her voice echoing around the car long after the call had ended.
This blog is about bringing up The Boy. He's 12 years old and autistic. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.