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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Meeting in the middle



Ethan has just finished organising our medicines into little boxes which he’s labelled cold remedies, painkillers, creams, hay fever and miscellaneous. The anal ordering goes against everything in my chaotic, free-wheeling nature. It also gives the impression that we have nothing better to do with our time than categorise household medicines.
I’m over-reacting, I know. Probably half of you reading this blog categorise your medicines. And much more. It just highlights once more how different Ethan and I are.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Aspergers isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just a different thing, that sometimes needs to be bent and shaped to a certain extent if the person wants to fit in to particular social situations and build friendships. But then I need to be willing to bend and shape my natural instincts too.
The main way that Ethan and I are different is that I care too much about what people think and Ethan doesn’t care enough. For instance, last weekend, Ethan was camping with a couple of friends. One of them had forgotten his wash bag. He asked Ethan if he could use some of his shower gel and Ethan said no. It was nothing personal, just practical. Ethan didn’t think he’d have enough for himself if he let this other guy use some. It didn’t enter his head to just use a bit less on himself, to put himself out a bit in order to help someone out and therefore build a friendship.
At the same time, I was staying with the kids at a friend’s house. On the Sunday morning, after only 3 hours of sleep (having shared a room with kids all night) I was meant to be leaving by 9am to get home in time for church (I had the all important biscuits for the children’s clubs). By 10am I still hadn’t left – I was too busy helping tidy up and chatting with my friend (I didn’t want to offend her by just getting up and leaving). When I did eventually leave I felt so torn that I wasn’t watching my friend’s kids in their fun run that I phoned church, saying I was really sorry I wouldn’t be there in time with the biscuits (and feeling guilty about that), then stood in the rain for an hour trying to keep my kids occupied whilst watching my friend’s kids run around a field. When all I wanted to do was go home, put the kids in front of the TV and go to bed!
Ethan would have done just that.
Somewhere there’s a happy medium!

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