If you do not already know, our little guy has Asperger's Syndrome. One of its symptoms is the inability to understand others' nor even his OWN emotions. He has watched his father go off in an ambulance. Over. and Over. Something like 13 times in 12 months. Through it all, this little guy never shed a tear. I so distinctly remember, as I was tending to my fallen hero, then desperately going to the phone to call 911, seeing this little guy walking along the edge of the room. In my mind, he is surfing on a board of denial, sweeping his hands along the walls, the doors. Several years ago.
Several weeks ago, he started saying, "Oma, daddy, remember when daddy was in the hospital and I gave him my baby bunny?" Yes, dear, that was very kind of you. We didn't think much of it. Then one day, little guy was laying with his dad, their heads nestled together. Once again, "Dad, remember when you were in the hospital and I gave you my baby bunny to hold?" But this time, his dad felt a tear trickle down little guy's cheek and land on his own, the rivulet continuing.
What is it like to not know your emotions? [Alright, cut it with the comments about your husbands, okay?] What is it like when you can barely recognize happy, sad, angry, let alone the more subtle satisfied, suspicious, or dismayed? When you have to be shown flashcards of facial expressions and associate them with a word that may or may not make a connection? It is stepping out of yourself, and looking at yourself, recalling the flash cards you've seen in therapy and see if one matches with your own psychic face. Like recalling a spelling word.
But then again, we get some unique perspectives from our Boo. And sometimes, it's spot on. Like when recently, his dad was away on business. They've been such close buddies lately. Boo is in the back seat of the car, and we are driving away, leaving dad at his conference. This time, the tear is not a rivulet but a watercourse, running over, under and around him. Swept away, and little guy says,
"I feel like he's right next to me, but he's not here."
Is that not the essence of emotional pain? being cleaved but then cleft? Amazing, clear thinking from a boy who doesn't understand emotions.