The Boy got soaked on our way back from the shops this morning. Mainly because Crap Dad forgot his coat. As we walked home the sun came out and he dried off. Or, to put it in his words, "All the wet has gone off me".
He was chatty today. And inquisitive. The chatty bit happens quite often - normally about something he's seen on the internet or a Doctor Who fact that suddenly needs sharing. But the inquisitive bit is a treat to be savoured, a rarity. This is the boy who'd rather spend his days at school locking himself in a toilet than acquiring knowledge. Knowledge is something to be gained in secret from a computer screen when no-one is looking, not something to be learnt from a person. But today he wanted to know stuff. He wanted to know about The Past.
The Past is a big confusing mess to The Boy. Anything and everything that took place before today happened "a long time ago". Something that happened yesterday is now confined to the same timeframe as ten years ago. And events that happened before he was born are just inconceivable to him. In The Boy's eyes the world and everything in it was created the very same day he was.
This all came about because the other day we drove past his Nursery. The Boy went there eight years ago. And as we drove past a child was coming out of the door. They must have been around two years of age. "Who's she?", The Boy said. "I don't remember her! She must be new. I hope my friends are looking after her". So, we talked about how none of his friends are there anymore, how they've all grown up like he has, and how he won't know anybody in the nursery now.
And this talk of the past has obviously been playing on his mind. Because today he asked me about when I was a child. So, I told him all about how The Grandmother is my mum and I lived with her and his Uncles who are my brothers, together with The Grandad who isn't here anymore. And he wanted to know more. He asked about our house, and the garden, and what the bedrooms were like. I finally got the chance to tell my son how tough it was in the olden days and how we had no heating and bunk beds, but ooh we were 'appy...
The conversation lasted about seven minutes. Seven glorious, golden minutes. He asked more questions, about who shared a bedroom with who, and who I sat next to at the dinner table. And it seemed to be sinking in. This idea of a past without him. He finally seemed to be getting it. Then suddenly he became more animated. "Who did I sit next to at dinner?", he asked, "did I have a bunk bed too?".
Ah well, there's always tomorrow, when today will become yesterday too. In many ways you're right, son. There was no world before you.
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.