Today, Woody lost his head. Literally.
Woody has been doing his Nearly Headless Nick impersonation for the last day or so, but today, he lost it altogether.
I had been trying to substitute another Woody for the past day; we have many of them in our house. But none of them were the right one. And Woody lost his head before we made it to the store.
And when he did, my boy’s heart snapped in two.
Every time he tried to put Woody’s head back on without success, the boy’s heart broke again.
But he kept trying.
And he handed Woody to me about halfway through the car wash, and through his tears he cried, “I need help, please.”
So I tried. But Woody was as broken as the boy and his daddy, sitting there in the car wash crying together.
When we got home, I took Woody inside for a moment while the boy cried in the car, and Crazy-Glued his head back on.
But the pain was still there. And so for the next hour and a half, we mourned Woody together. One of us, at the top of his lungs, hands to his head, crying out the pain of losing his friend.
Eventually, the tears dried, and the new Woody had arrived home, and the old Woody’s head seemed to be holding.
But the loss of a friend still breaks our hearts.
I mention this not so you’ll mourn with us, but feel free to do so if you want. That’s what the boy wanted today, after all.
I’m mentioning this rather so that I can help you to see that kids on the spectrum are not cold.
They are not dispassionate.
They are not heartless, and they are absolutely not loners.
Yes, there are times when human company is overwhelming for the boy. Hell, there are times when human company is overwhelming for his dad.
But when your friend loses his head, no matter who you are or where you are on the spectrum, you still want someone there who will try and help.
And if help isn’t possible, you still want someone there who will cry with you.
My son wanted me to share his loss.
Cause that’s what it means to be human.
When there’s a story circulating out there that kids on the spectrum are loners and thus dangerous, I hope you’ll remember this. What my boy wanted was someone to cry with him.
Now that Woody is better and new Woody has found a home where he’ll be loved, all my boy wants is someone who will play with him.
Cause that’s what it means to be human, too.