We're alright with dressing now. We've got that one sorted fairly well. The Boy can largely dress himself. As long as the clothes are laid out for him in the correct order. Pants > Socks > Top > Trousers. And there's no zips. Or buttons. Or anything inside out. Or itchy. Or with a label to dig in.
The sock part is the bit he needs help with. There's something weird about socks. They have an underneath part, but when you hold them up to look at them to work out the right way to put them on there is no underneath. And no matter how much you pull at them they just don't go on. We've been for lessons. Oh yes, these things exist. Sock lessons. We went for Occupational Therapy at the age of nine to teach us how to use a knife and fork and put on a pair of socks. And it kind of worked - The Boy learnt how to do both. But one thing the therapists failed to grasp, and the one thing you can't teach, is "Why?"
It's one of my favourite things about The Boy. And those of his ilk. He doesn't conform as easily as the rest of us. Doesn't fall into line. He's no sheep, that's for certain. I remember watching his face while he was being taught to put on a sock. It took six lessons. An hour each. And the whole time he had a look on his face. Why? Why are you teaching me how to put bits of material on my feet? They're perfectly fine without it. Why do I have to cut up a sausage with a piece of metal when I can just pick it up and eat it? Why does the piece of cloth you've made me wear have to be tucked in to the other piece of cloth I'm also forced to wear?
And I love that for the most part I can't answer him. I love that he makes me question so many things that for years I just went along with. So often I wonder and worry what The Boy's legacy will be. But whatever it is, he will always be someone who was able to look at the world differently. To be an individual. Unique. And he will forever be the person who has taught me more about what it truly means to be alive than anyone else on this planet.
That's his legacy.
Right, we're off to eat dinner. In barefeet, with our hands.
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.