Yesterday was the long anticipated Sunday night
battle on Game of Thrones introduction of our son with autism, Joey, and our new puppy, Henry.
It was, well, autistic?
Henry wiggled up all full of canine cuteness and joy and Joey didn’t make eye contact.
“Joey, this is Henry” we squealed with caregiver cuteness and joy.
“No” came the J-man’s “I’m not interested” reply.
Henry sulked. His 8 puny weeks of life have been non stop adoration by the cosmos. When we apologized for posting so many puppy pictures on social media, several people replied “There’s no such thing as too many puppy pictures.”
So Henry had his first moment of existential rejection, courtesy of autism.
It’s not that Joey doesn’t care. His affect was aloof when it came to Lily, our dear departed Black Lab. But when we she spent a night with the vet Joey wore a distressed face and kept saying “Lily’s not here.”
Henry just experienced one of the stinky things about care giving. You put your emotions out and you don’t get the responses you want. We’ve been relatively blessed, as Joey has been emotionally connected (albeit expressed in some roundabout ways); many families of people with autism would kill to get even some roundabout engagement.
In her day, Lily wasn’t put off by Joey’s autism. She would hover protectively after he suffered seizures. And in my very last picture of her – wouldn’t you know it – she’s sharing sunshine with Joey by last year’s freshly cut Christmas tree.
As for Sophia the cat? fuggedaboutit