I must confess that I was smiling as I watched. If it had been Andrew’s birthday, I would have scolded him for his behavior. I would have been apologetic.
But with David, everyone was amused as we watched him rip greedily into a package, tearing just enough of the wrapping paper to reveal whether or not it was the coveted Hot Wheels Color Shifters Car Wash playset and then casting it aside before moving on to another brightly wrapped package.
Until now, David has never really asked for anything for his birthday or Christmas. He has not shown much interest in new toys. He has been content to make do with what he already has.
I was the one who had suggested a new car wash for his birthday because, when I had asked him what he wanted for his birthday his response was almost always, “I want to drink milk on my birthday.”
And as I watched him, I couldn’t help but think of phrases like “indistinguishable from his peers” and “typical.”
David was being, well, normal and for the moment I was pleased.
But every so often I have to wonder if we all shouldn’t take a cue from David.
Why did it bother me that David was perfectly happy with all of the stuff he already had and didn’t really want—and certainly did not need—any new stuff?
There is so much talk in the world of autism about “the window” and pulling these kids through it, but sometimes I need to stop and look at the world from David’s vantage point because I have to admit that, at times, the view from where he is standing can be pretty spectacular.