52. Do You Have a Tricycle for Pilates?

“Do You Have a Tricycle for Pilates?”

I’m going to give my dear readers a shoutout–you guys excel at holding me accountable. I was dragging my heels this week, and so many of you asked me what the delay was, and where my latest blog entry was, that the fog cleared and I felt a tad more galvanized. Haha! Love you for keeping me honest.

The delay is entirely due to spring break, spring allergies, and my general bad attitude towards warm weather. It’s nice to see A in his loud colored tropical shorts again, and I bought him and G tons of new ones on my trip home last year. The sight of flared shorts with stick legs emerging never fails to amuse. But A is just as allergy ridden as I am every spring, and we loathe ourselves and everyone around us sometimes. Soon enough, our eyes will be glued shut by pollen, and we will pretend to agree when people gush about how beyootiful it all is, and how spring is the rebirth of all their hopes and dreams. That’s cute. Put some of that joy in a bottle and shake it around so it can spread its sparkle. Like pollen.

It’s pretty fun to watch A sink into deep relaxation once he realizes he is on a break. Then he busies himself with little pet projects that wear us out and entertain us simultaneously. His latest is some sort of precise math that only he is privy to regarding the placement of his favorite couch. He moves it around here and there, making minuscule adjustments, and arriving at no proper conclusion, so perhaps it’s the journey and not the destination that matters? We don’t know. We help when we are asked to, and if someone asks us what family hobbies we engage in, we can confidently say “Couch-shifting.”

The other activity is what I like to call Trike Pilates. A has a little tricycle from his toddler years that he won’t let anyone get rid of, and he uses it to do various core strength-type poses on, breathing and moving so fluidly, and enjoying himself so quietly and for so long each day, that we can only take pictures and marvel. Autistic kids play in such fascinating ways, it’s an education in watching them find their own happy, centered selves. It’s nice to take the occasional break from “plays appropriately with toys suited to his age” goals.

A came along when we took G to the orthodontist, and tried to insert himself into the scene while we were talking dental hygiene. I do admire the patience of the staff, who never batted an eye when he tried to eat the fake teeth and gums on which the kids practice brushing techniques. Then he placed said fake teeth on his head. My husband and I exchanged amused glances at A’s attempts to be funny and social. He has immense nosiness about G’s life, and is lucky to have a sibling who is shockingly indulgent.

If you don’t mind placing A at the center of everything, he’s a cool guy to have along on life’s daily adventures. We had a dear friend over for the day on Monday, and yesterday we were guests at someone else’s house. The usual resigned dread we feel when we visit people in the exurbs–all those doors, not to mention massive garages and basements that A feels compelled to explore, and we have to make sure he doesn’t try to wander outside–was not a factor yesterday, and he leaned happily on the hostess’ arm, chowing down on snacks, and grinning crumbily at the world. He likes small gatherings of people, where he can focus on one thread of conversation, and there aren’t too many faces to sort through.

It’s not so difficult, in the end, to make a kid like A happy. He wants to be your companion on a long drive, where he can bop along to the radio; on a brunch foray, where he can sample crepes, soups, and tortellini; on a trip to the library, where he can peek cheekily at you through the stacks; and on a Costco run, where he can run his hand along the lurid orange shelving, laughing with pleasure at the symmetry of the aisles. Much respect for all the kids like him, who find joy in daily life, in the company of familiar loved ones, and who live large in the moment.

Radha.

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