Thursday, May 5, 2011

Worth a Thousand Words

 "You know, I gotta tell you something about Boo."

I felt my heart in a free-fall, ready to slam into the pavement outside the school's library doors, where I stood talking with the mother of Boo's best friend.

Goddd ...Whaaaat ... Nowww ...? 

Because, you know, lately I've had enough of people "telling me something" about my boy.  From the school guidance counselor calling to tell me that his bus behavior was so disruptive that the driver said he couldn't safely drive, to the assistant principal saying he was going to be suspended from said bus ... well, I thought that I might start to cry if someone told me one more thing about my boy.

(Or, if anyone told me one more thing about anything, really, with the way my life has been going.)

"You know, he writes E. a story every single day," the other mom continued. 

I nodded slowly.  Writing and drawing seems to be Boo's "thing."  (You know, because every kid with autism has a "thing," some sort of freakin' obsessive superpower.)  Boo is constantly writing, sketching, never without a pen or a marker in his left hand.  He is prolific to the point where it is not unusual for him to produce 20 pages of new material before breakfast.  I have pages upon pages of writing, of comic strips, of drawings in every single room of the house, every single day.

He writes of everything from pirates of the high seas to Presidents of the United States, from trips in time machines to teasing by peers in 3rd grade.  He writes in spiral-bound notebooks, in Word on the computer, on the most microscopic scraps of paper imaginable. This week, my boy who we once had to spend countless of dollars and hours of floortime therapy to get him to develop his imagination and to connect with us via pretend play, has been creating and distributing a buried treasure type of story/contest/game, whereby he is hiding clues throughout the school and giving select people (including his teacher and the elementary school principal) tips.  His teacher has suggested that he go on the school's morning announcements (and that's a whole 'nother post altogether) to explain his idea and how the other students can participate.

But even with knowing all of this, I was still not expecting E.'s mom to tell me what she did.

"His stories that he writes to E. are unbelievable," she continued.

I half-smiled, half rolled my eyes.  "Yeah, I know."

"No," she said firmly.  "They're really, really good."

I gave her a genuine smile.  "Why, thank you.  That's very nice of you to say."

"We keep them all, you know.  I've put them in a binder, which E. has beside his bed, and I told him, you're not to throw these away.  Boo's going to be a famous writer someday and you will have these."

I let that sink in for a moment as we joked about E. selling the stories someday on eBay, how much they would be worth many years from now. Of course, we don't know if Boo will really become a writer or if E. will even remember Boo's name once we move away, much less keep his stories and comic strips for posterity.

But for that day, with that mom telling me she thought my boy's stories and ramblings were ones worth keeping?

I can't put a pricetag on what that was worth.

photo taken by me of Boo, writing on the porch of the shore house, July 2009.

copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Kelly said...

This made me tear up. I'm so glad she thought to share that with you. I bet those stories will be treasures to E and his mom long after you move. I know those words will be treasures for you forever!

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful --

Please ask Boo whether he can come up with a good treasure hunt for my son's tenth birthday party next Friday afternoon. Help!

Anonymous said...

WONDERFUL!!! What a special bond..that means the world to E and his mom and now you!! Maybe you could get a copy of one of the stories for your own keeping to look at later in life.

pixiemama said...

So wonderful to hear the good stuff on occasion. Sorry things have been rough lately. xo

randim said...

Made me cry! xoxo

Dina said...

How wonderful for all of you -- You, Boo, E, and his mom. (And perhaps he will follow your steps into Pentimento?) BASK in this!

Alison said...

That's really cool. How old does a kid have to be before he gets his own blog?

Anonymous said...

This made me cry. For so many reasons.

christa @ mental foodie said...

I love this post. How wonderful that E's mum recognizes and acknowledges it!