Do it with Passion, or Not at All

Facebook MemoryJuly 2014, the year Caleb received an Aspergers diagnosis, aged 9…

DESPERATE voice, Caleb appears from his bedroom, half an hour AFTER bedtime: MUUUUM!!!

Mum: What on earth’s the matter?!

Caleb: PLEASE can I find a piece of paper and write an important message?! I REALLY need to remember something for school tomorrow!

Mum: Just tell me now and I’ll remind you in the morning?

Caleb: NO! It’s WAY TOO IMPORTANT and you know how grumpy you are in a morning!!

Mum: 😁 Hurry up! Go!

Herd of elephants descend the stairs, clattering, much rushed activity. Two minutes later, clearly satisfied emergency is over [BIG SMILE], Caleb heads to bed.

Caleb: Night Mum!

Silence resumes upstairs. I just can’t resist. I find the note in his school reading book bag: TOM. I NEED to be a mid fielder. Stop making me defens, it’s a BAD plan!

…a school playground, football, emergency !

When it comes to the things Caleb’s EXCITED about, he could teach us a thing or two about passion 😍👏🏻✅

Clues that something is a BIG DEAL for Caleb:

  • LOTS of questions, facts and reflections will be voiced, sometimes a bit out of nowhere, when everyone else is on a different topic; or, driving along listening to Capital FM (don’t judge!), a voice will pipe up!
  • Sometimes Caleb’s been masterminding his ideas for a while and it’s a bit hard to work out what the out-of-the-blue question/ fact links to. It gets a bit frustrating for him too, that we’re not keeping up with the chat he’s been having in his head! Josh, Caleb’s younger brother, tries to help: “What I think Caleb means is…”….”NO JOSH, I don’t!”
  • Distracted by a surge of new thoughts, bad timing isn’t on the radar really, understanding people might be in the middle of something else and so it’s not the best time to talk!
  • Caleb’s voice ALWAYS turns UP LOUD when there’s something worth talking about. But Caleb does not notice this, and tells me he’s worried I might have a problem with my ears!
  • Thoughts usually drift to what could go wrong too, or who might be a ‘foe’… “Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst” is a saying Caleb didn’t get from me!

Writing this new blog is THE LATEST EXCITING THING for Caleb. All weekend, despite a family birthday, Pizza Hut and ‘Gravity’ Trampolining; despite his Step Dad walking through the door at 8.30pm on Friday evening, after driving the full length of the country, at the end of a very LONG week > Caleb’s brain is firing ideas, questions, thoughts and feelings at a million miles an hour about THE EXCITING THING…and he just can’t stop talking about it.

As we drive to school for the first day of term this week, much conversation revolves around Easter activities – visiting Wembley and planting sunflowers, making homemade pizza from scratch…fun times! But for Caleb, his mind races about Supercars and the blog:

“Some kids at school might think ‘Awesomely Aspergers’ is a stupid name for a blog”, he reflects.

I remind him that no one knows about the blog and he could keep it that way. Not say a thing!

He nods, “I understand Mum, yes!” he says, a bit absentmindedly, spotting a group of children from his class out of the car window.

As he bounds through the open school gate, I hear him say loudly, in a super-friendly way “Hi guys!! What’s new with you this Easter?”

My heart does a big squeeze…and I know already, there will be no secrets. There NEVER are with Caleb. Just the truth. The whole of Caleb’s truth, as he sees it.