Something Gifty This Way Comes (#532)

Three vaguely 20-something young men in red shirts were standing before some big box items, a Barbie car and a stack of TV-show-character scooters, on an end-of-aisle display. One young man picked up a box and paused as another, his black turban standing out amid the red-green-and-tinsel of Target in December, seriously eyed the half-filled space.
“Something gifty,” said the third young man, cargo pants only slightly drooping. “That’s what it needs.”

Charlie and I were at Target to, indeed, find gifts, for a birthday girl whose party he has been invited to on Saturday; for his Aunty Jen who never misses a holiday and often throws in a small surprise “for my nephew; for numerous cousins on two coasts. He was still sick and stayed home from school, lolling around the house until Jim dropped him off at my office at 2pm. “Moo-vee,” Charlie requested, but when I checked, the only movie times were in the evening. And so we went to Target.

We wandered our way past the clothes and sporting goods and toys and Christmas decorations, some already on sale, and I kept thinking of what one of my students (she is from Germany) had said last week. A few other students were there before the start of class and the conversation fell to Black Friday and, college students being college students, a lack of funds. “But you could make the gifts yourself,” said the German student. A slightly awkward silence came after which one student said “I tried that once, but then I found that I can’t make anything!”, and then laughter, and then back to the fall of the Roman Empire.

I posted last week on Gifts Your Autistic Child Might Actually Want to Play With. We have planned to get Charlie a big trampoline for the backyard once spring comes and a scooter, aftering seeing him gliding so gracefully (and happily) on one at his school last week—which are, I guess you could say, gifty gifts.

I used to say, in rather more high-falutin’ style, I wished I could give him the gift of speech, of talking; of reading books; of friends. And Charlie can talk, in his short and sometimes slurry phrases, and he has some sight words down, and various of our friends ask to spend time with him. You can get what you wish for, sort of—or maybe it really was what you wanted?

It is.

Once the last present is unwrapped, that’s it, but when you tuck the blanket around your boy sniffling in his sleep, you know you had one more day together and whether it was “bad” or “good” or “great” or “how can I live through this again,” it was you and him living out another day together.

It is a gift, but one you did not know you needed.

Like the mundane fun of walking down the aisles of Target, together.

One Response to “Something Gifty This Way Comes (#532)”
  1. Kassiane says:

    Wow, I was at Target today too! Just on the…other coast.

    I needed a hat.

    In Rettdevil land, hat shopping is a bloggable experience. Just not on THIS internet connection.

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