Quality: character with respect to fineness, or grade of excellence.
Do you ever think about the best qualities in your child? For me, I go day to day, just trying to fit in all I need to do, in my waking hours, so I can get to bed and sleep for a few. Then, I get up and do it all again. Other than a moment of excitement for a new skill, or watching him do something I asked the first time, I don’t actually think about how many things make my son special. Today, however, I’m thinking about it.
Here’s how I see it:
My son does not comment on a person’s size, shape, skin color, voice or any physical attribute that sets them apart from others. In fact, I really doubt that my son judges anyone by how he or she looks or sounds. Instead, he may hesitate if he does not know someone (sometimes – sometimes he will approach strangers asking who they are) or if he senses anger.
Because the little guy makes no comparisons about people and their physical attributes, he is non-discriminatory, kind and open to being friends with just about anyone. He makes fun of no one. In fact, I’m sure he does not know how to make fun of someone.
Yes, he does have his meltdowns. When his senses become overloaded, if he misses you or if he has hurt himself, he will definitely let you know it. But, for the most part, my son is laughing, singing, playing with a toy, dancing or demanding attention. If you ask him if he is happy or sad, 99 times out of 100, he will say he is happy.
He’s Eager to Please.
Although according to some, because of his autism, he is supposedly not in tune to what others think or feel, I find this is just not true, as to the people he knows, and to whom he is closest. Whenever I am feeling down, my little guy runs over to me and says, “Mommy to be happy!” He will give me a kiss and a hug.
When I ask him to throw something in the garbage (usually a Bounce fabric softener) or get me a drink from the fridge, he will run right over and willingly do so. He is really quite helpful that way. He loves to please.
Embarrassment is not an Issue.
Because my son is not adept at reading social cues, he does not get embarrassed. Not reading social cues can be a “disability”, but in a lot of ways, it’s also an “ability” (at least at this age) to avoid feelings of embarrassment. I can relay any story in front of him without him telling me to be quiet or trying to change the subject. I can kiss and hug him in front of his friends and he does not push me away. He simply does not pay attention, at this point, to what other people think. I wish I could say the same. Often.
Others Think Highly of Him
Asking the person closest to him (other than me and his dad) what his greatest qualities are, I got this response from Jessica:
“He’s hella smart. He’s super cute. He’s always laughing. He doesn’t ever give up (sometimes that’s bad). He overcomes anything put in his way. He is always having a good time. [Editor’s note: I think she is forgetting meltdown times – but hey, he’s so good, you forget the bad times!] He brightens the day of everyone he meets. He is super wicked smart and can figure out things that adults (Billy) can’t figure out. He is a lover not a fighter (most of the time). He gives the best hugs and the sloppiest kisses. He fills my love cup…”
Well, there you have it.
My son, Mr. Congeniality…
I love him so.