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Monday, July 26, 2010

The Good Part

There aren't that many good parts to autism. There are MANY, MANY good parts to Janey, but these are despite the autism, not due to it. Yesterday, however, was a small rare exception. We were all tired out from all the heat and didn't feel like cooking, and it was getting late, so Tony decided to get Burger King for dinner. We almost dreaded asking the boys what they wanted---everyone in our family is passionate about food and highly opinionated, and usually any food-related decision results in lots of arguments and fierce debate. I guess this time they were just too hungry to do that, though, so they fairly calmly just told us what they wanted. Then we told Janey we were going to get her chicken nuggets. You would have thought we said we were giving her a million dollars---she literally danced around the house with excitement. She came with us in the car and just was so thrilled the whole way over to the Burger King. We had been talking about cheeseburgers and she said "Want cheeseburger!" Tony said "You want a cheeseburger AND nuggets" and she echoed "Cheeseburger AND nuggets!" When the order came, she yelled out "I want KING NUGGETS" I don't know if that was from Burger King or if she remembered they were shaped like crowns there. We gave her them in the car and she was on a total high---it was like Christmas for her. I got thinking---this is nice. She doesn't expect the minor treats in life---she's not able to think that far ahead. But when they arrive, she doesn't modulate her feelings---she can get just as excited over the nuggets as she would over some major present. She doesn't argue with us over what we are going to do---she really can't. She certainly is often unhappy, but like the happiness---it's in the moment. I'm not going all "trip to Holland" here, but after dealing with boys who are highly verbal, extremely interested in debate and emotional, it's at rare times kind of nice to have Janey---thrilled to just have chicken nuggets.

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