Like us, our friends' oldest child has Asperger's Syndrome (and they're just about the same age). It makes for a unique family culture, when this is the case. We shared happy stories that she rightly pointed out most "normal" parents of "normal" kids would consider disasters. Like her daughter finishing the 5k... she finished!! That's party-worthy stuff right there! What all ensued between the starting block and the finish line left us both in stitches, but she did it! And like our son NOT climbing the cliff with the sheer drop beneath it on our family hike yesterday. Of course, our mountaintop "conversation" around climbing said cliff surely left those around us scratching their heads and doubting my parenting prowess, but the fact of the matter is, the boy did NOT climb that cliff. He did, of course, have to go a few rounds with me about it first...
"This is a time for you to trust me. You will not climb that without a rope and a harness."
"Why can't you just have courage Mom?"
"I have courage AND wisdom. You'll understand when you're a Dad."
"I understand how you feel, Mom, but ...(heavy dramatic sigh) ... I'm doing it. If I die, I hope you miss me" (spoken from the heart in a way that made me stifle a laugh)
"If you go one more step in that direction you're grounded from all electronics for two weeks." (spoken flatly, with a smile)
"But Mom!! It won't matter cause I'll be DEEEEAAAADDD" (make that last word drag out for a good 20 seconds or so)
"Yes, but what if you survive? How miserable will THAT be?" (still flat but with a smirk this time)
I can only imagine what other parents on the mountain top were saying/tweeting/status-updating about the crazy woman who didn't panic (as any sane person surely would) and continued such an odd conversation with her 13 year old.
But guess what? Doesn't matter.
It was a victory.
No screaming, no wrestling, no tears, no hurt feelings, NO ONE DIED (LOL) ... and more importantly no one is grounded for two weeks (wink).
Yes, I'm glad my friend can understand that this was a victory. And I'm even more glad that our kids' special needs have brought us together. I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.