Lynette Louise


Reality Retarded

My 26 year-old son is visiting me from Texas and the difference between Texas and California in relation to the price of gas has been a subject as of late. So it isn’t surprising that as we drove away from the pumps noticing that our twenty dollar purchase had barely moved the needle on the gauge we were complaining about the cost of rotating ones tires down the road.

Now when Rye was 2 years old he was diagnosed with infantile autism, fetal alcohol syndrome (not my fault he’s adopted) and retardation. Since then he was come a long way. He is independent and runs a small business mowing lawns and doing handy work.

He has also driven across the country and loves all modes of transportation except the GreyHound bus.

OK back to the more present moment. I said “I can’t believe its 4.21 a gallon! That is so expensive!’ Rye said ‘Ya its ridiculous’ I said ‘Totally retarded!’ Then I quickly turned to him and pointing my finger said ‘Just like you used to be-‘ we laughed with glee at my wit.

NOW HALT EVERYONE! Before you get all offended, understand that in my house no words are off limits, no diagnosis is unbeatable and all concepts are explained. And trust me, when it comes to Rye, I’ve done a lot of explaining. He has had a pretty bizarre view of things. Fortunately as a result of all that clear talking Rye is comfortable with the word retarded. So we laughed at the joke together. After all it is something I just said he used to be not something I just said he was.

Finally our giggles subsided. Rye changed his tone to serious which indicated to me that I should listen with a less frivolous ear. “Actually mom I think I was more reality retarded than retarded retarded!”

I was impressed by his insight.

You don’t have to know much about autism to know how completely brilliant and ‘off the spectrum’ that statement really was. He continued, “ I used to think I would get a million dollars for mowing lawns or a billion for inventing a washing machine. But someone already invented washing machines and I was looking at one when I got the idea. Yea I think autism should be called reality retarded!”

Me too son! I think he just graduated from retarded to inherently wise.


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