Thursday, April 15, 2010


I've written before about the widening gap between typical and non-typical, how as Rojo gets older the discrepancy between what he and his peers are doing gets larger. Much, much larger. Whole days go by now when I'm able to obsess about all kinds of things beyond the gap, and then, BAM, when I'm just sitting there minding my own business, someone/something will remind me.

Because Rojo's been in a small school since kindergarten, with little "turn over," most of the kids are used to him, or quickly become so. He lives in a bubble and we like it that way. An argument may be made that we are not preparing him for the "real" world. We aren't really interested in that argument. We've long ago let go of words like "real," "normal," and "usual."

A few nights ago the weather was gorgeous, the neighborhood school's lawn freshly mown, and there were hours left of daylight. Rojo put on his extra-small San Francisco 49-ers football helmet, grabbed his extra-large calculator and his stuffed Patriot's football I won for him in an arcade, and we headed to the field to play football. Two little league teams were practicing in the two diamonds, so we found a remote spot far out of their way, and in little danger of being hit by a ball.

I brought along the FURminator and a bag to put all the excess hair in, and Flicka and I spread out happily on the grass nearby. Rojo was in a zone, in every sense of the word. Coaching, cheering, commenting, being the band, players on both teams and the ref. Heaven.

One of the coaches ran a drill and had all the kids, third graders I'm guessing, run from the baseball diamond to the far away bench, roughly two feet from the three of us. Some little bastard child saw Rojo playing in the helmet, and decided to announce it to God and the universe. "Hey! That kid is wearing a football helmet! Look, everyone, he's wearing a football helmet!" Then he turned to me and said, "Why is he wearing a football helmet?" I am telling you, people, it was all I could do not to rip him a new one. Every low vibration known to man was mine at that exact moment.

I tightly said, "He's just having fun."

And while this experience didn't set me back for days, or even weeks, like it might have at one time, it did reinforce for me that Operation Bubble will continue through high school. What we've helped to create for him in K-8, a place of acceptance, of tolerance, of understanding and of compassion, is what we are looking for in high school.

Nothing less.

Hear that, universe? Mary? God and all the angels in heaven?

*Photo from


Suzy said...

I still would have smacked him upside the head...
in my mind anyway...

This is when you need a dog that bites...want Penny?

Love you,


Anonymous said...

So nice that you have the option of a small school setting--how wonderful! I'm sure you'll find what you are looking for for high school.

Elizabeth said...

I'd like to say that the kid probably didn't mean anything, but I'm always struck by those children who are actually courteous, caring and curious in proper ways. They exist and clearly this kid wasn't one of them. I think your reaction was entirely appropriate -- I hope, though, that you gave him at least a tight-lipped stare.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Just remember how Flicka came into your lives - all will be as it should. Thinking of you, sending love.

jess said...

You'll find it. Or it'll find you.

Anonymous said...

It's hard, I know. Sounds awful but I'm thankful Katie is unaware of her differences.

pixiemama said...

Congratulations on your remarkable restraint with that (bad word, bad word) other child.

LOVE the Furminator, especially since Clara sheds her body weight in fur everyday!

Rojo is going to be perfectly Rojo when he is grown, just as he is now.

love. said...

That poor child will never, ever experience the joy Rojo does every single day.

Your boy will always be okay.He's plugged in.

Deb Shucka said...

I'm with Michelle. That boy and so many of his peers will never know the joy of boys like Rojo. I trust completely that you and Mary will keep him safe and unsullied so that clear light can keep shining through.

So glad you have the furminator - one of the best inventions ever!

Lola said...

Mary will continue to radiate around Rojo and be his 'home boy' showering him with love. Remember, one of Rojo's gifts ----others learn from him-it's just not always immediately apparent. xoxo

Wanda said...

Love is a verb. You said the right thing and did the right thing. Good job loving the little ... urchin.

Amber said...

Did Rojo care? I bet he kept having his good time. Being in his moment...While that poor kid gets to learn that "fun" isn't part of the game.

Love. The school will be delivered.


kario said...

Ask and you shall receive. I know it. As for Rojo, I'm sure he wasn't bothered by it at all, was he?

Go back to where you and Flicka were settled peacefully in the grass and sit with that moment.

Love you.