The Birthday Boy


The Birthday Boy

I think it is safe to say that youngest son was just a little bit excited about his birthday, he woke us up at 4am asking if he could open his presents; he didn’t get a very positive response. What only seemed like 5 minutes later, we were rudely awakened by the smoke alarm going off very loudly; to be honest my first thought was that the little bugger had deliberately done it by turning the toaster up as a way of getting our attention. The toaster antagonises the smoke alarm and frequently sets it off, no known cause is found as to why the bloody thing is blaring away. So at 5.45 am, husband is making tea and the family tradition of opening presents in mum and dad’s bad still holds true for the youngest. The eldest has discarded the tradition, but he comes for a cuppa and joins in the excitement.

We have learnt over the years that Birthdays and Aspergers have a unique combination; the presents will be counted, cards are only interesting if they contain money or a cheque, if a present isn’t liked it is discarded, if the wish list hasn’t been fulfilled, no matter how expensive a listed item might be, it will be noted and expressed usually in a loud and repetitive way. Presents have, as he has got older, needed to be negotiated, he has been demanding an Xbox for several months and despite consistently being told we will not buy one because we do not need 2 in the house; he is still insistent . Before going to bed last night, he asked what he was getting for his birthday, and did I perhaps mean that he would secretly be getting one and I was just really pretending, so that it would be a big surprise.

Last night he was troubled and upset about being a year older and nearer to death, asking if he or anyone in the family had cancer or any illnesses. He was sobbing as he told me that he didn’t want me to die, he told me that he loved me. Until recently he had only said he loved me on 2 occasions, now he tells me a lot, he says that he wants me to know in case I die. I cuddle him and hold him close when he tells me, my arms and heart full of love for him. I know that death worries him, its finality scares him, he knows what death means, he has experienced loosing people and at times gets overwhelmed and fixated on those he loves dying. I tell him as I always have, that the love we feel for someone and the love they give us, stays, it gets called many things, energy, spirit to name a couple; but its love connects us.

There are many times when his feelings and emotions burst out, he has intense rage which explodes sends massive sparks and charges the atmosphere. Asperger’s and the neuro-typical worlds collide with great thunderbolts, all of his pent up emotions needing to be released; Birthdays are no exception.

The school disco also happens to be on Toby’s birthday, so whilst there is excitement, the half an hour in which he has to get ready and leave, is intense. He thunders at warp speed up and down the stairs, demanding to know where his new jeans are, screams at the top of his voice, slamming doors and throwing his weight around so that it reverberates throughout the house. He battles with his dickey bow tie, which he insisted on as a birthday present and chose when we went shopping in Norwich last weekend; after much struggling he finally lets dad help him before deciding that it feels to uncomfortable and discards it. Eventually he is ready and the boy is transformed, looking cool in his new bomber jacket and jeans, his short recent hair cut has meant you can see his beautiful face again; he indulges us and lets us a take a photo.

He stands tall, his blonde hair and big blue eyes captured on this his 11th birthday, my youngest boy is growing fast.




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