In a Walmart parking lot today, my son went over to a lone tree in a tiny “island of green” in the midst of a sea of concrete. He then straddled it, wrapping his entire body around it. It looked pretty odd for a large boy to do this to a tree. As he was getting the usual stares, I hollered at him to stop it and to come over to me and explain himself. When I asked him what he was doing, his reply was:
“I was hugging the tree.”
Why I asked.
“Because it’s so wonderful.”
Some days, my son’s autism really does draw so much attention to us. He is in his own world just dancing around and being joyful and loud (that’s how his autism manifests itself), and I and his therapist and teachers are always trying to get him to conform to societal norms so that he will be accepted in society. Well, today I realized, sometimes it’s just wrong to pull him into my world. His world is so, well, wonderful.