Sometimes I struggle with how much to tell people about David. On some occasions, telling people that David has autism is like saying that he has big, beautiful, blue eyes. It is just a part of who he is and it slides off my tongue easily.
Other times, it seems to take too much energy. Should I let the checker at Famous Footwear think he is misbehaving or explain that he is just having flashbacks from the Croc buying skirmish of the summer of 2010? Honestly I am still having flashbacks from that episode, as well.
Should everyone at church be informed of the trauma that David suffered on Ash Wednesday during the imposition of ashes? Afterall, the phrase "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return" is a somewhat scary proposition and David spent the remainder of the service wiping ashes off of everyone's foreheads lest we return to dust right then and there. He still cannot bring himself to walk all the way to the front of the church to receive a blessing, but rather makes his escape with a quick U-turn at the last minute like a "chicken" exit at an amusement park ride.
I have mentioned that our deck was replaced last week. This time, I did not hesitate to make a full disclosure. If he had not already noticed the emergency responder autism alert decal by the front door, Mike, the owner of the deck company, needed to know about David. I wanted him to understand why I was so insistent that the kitchen door out to the deck be secure while they were working.
Last Tuesday, Mike left a message on our answering machine. For whatever reason as is so often the case, David took a fancy to the message and played it literally hundreds of times. Sounds harmless, right? Well, it occurred to me as David was playing the message for the 52nd time of the morning that it has been cool and our windows were open. Mike and Matt were working right outside of the open windows and must have heard the message. They must have thought I was a psychopath.
So, after David left for school I had to explain to Mike why he might be hearing his message over and over and over and over again. I neglected to tell him that David also is repeating bits of the message in the car as we drive around town. That might be too creepy. Or the fact that I will probably never be able to forget his cell phone number for as long as I live.
Mike did not admit if he has heard his message repeating in our house, but I do believe I detected a sigh of relief after I made my disclosure.