I spoke with a friend today whose daughter is home sick from school. Mom’s comment that S was “sitting on the floor playing with her stickers and coloring” while Mom worked from home rendered me momentarily speechless. You mean kids actually do that? Sit on the floor and play quietly by themselves? Seriously? Wow. Just WOW.
I marvelled for a moment at how different our two kids are. When C is awake, it is a constant, all-consuming, every moment affair. If he’s actually quietly playing somewhere, chances are he’s overflowing his sink, testing to see if the flashlight works in the toilet, or pulling the ears of our way-too-patient dog. When it’s too quiet in our house, there’s a problem, or else everyone is asleep.
C’s need for interaction, any type of interaction, is simply so great as to make me wonder if C recognizes he is in fact his own independent person. It would seem that he is almost solely validated by his relationships with other people, which I suppose doesn’t exactly fit the stereotypical ideal of someone with an autism diagnosis.
While all of my pondering on this subject has yet to yield a reason for it, the effect on me – the INFJ on the Myers-Briggs Personality Profile – is great. Perhaps now I value my alone time more since it is more rare, but I find myself staying up late at night, enjoying solitary trips to the grocery store, and yakking on the phone with girlfriends, well, never. It’s almost as if C believes he ceases to exist if he is by himself, and I feel as though I can only remember my true self when I am alone.