A month ago, I spent a few days at the beach with a friend and her children. One of them, we'll call her "G", is a gorgeous girl, blond flowing locks, golf ball sized blue eyes, big full leaps and a bright cheery smile with a disposition to match. She is 6 yrs old. After a few sessions at the beach, something I had not deemed possible occurred. My son was smitten. Head over heels in L-U-V. It is a funny thing to see in a 5 yr old boy. It's that fresh faced, boyish big eyed smile, the excitement palpitating in his heart, the wonder on his face of feeling an emotion he has never felt.
As we were leaving the beach one day, "G" getting into her car, us getting into ours, Finbar states, "Mom, I love 'G'. I want her to marry me. How can I get her to marry me?". My heart leapt at the thought of this emotional risk he was willing to take. I said a quick Hail Mary that the feeling would be mutual and took a deep breath. "Well, in order for someone to marry you Finney, they have to WANT to marry you. You can't make them marry you." "How can I get her to WANT to marry me mom?". I seized the opportunity to do my future daughter in law and womankind a favor. "Well, you have to be REALLY nice to her everyday and do nice things for her A LOT." Finbar took the bait, "I know. I will bring her flowers everyday. She likes flowers, I know she does. 'G!' 'G!!' (across the parking lot to her). Will you marry me G? I promise I'll bring you flowers everyday" (giggles from the other car). "Bye Finney (giggle)".
In the car pulling out of the parking lot he continues. "Mom, this is too tough. There are sooo many girls to choose from. There's 'G', there's 'E', there's 'K'. Ooooooh how will I EVER choose a wife? There are so many to choose from." I thought, wait "E" and "K"? I thought you didn't even know those girls were ALIVE and now they are in your marriage pool? What an interesting take on dating. Trying to find a wife. If only young men worried like Finbar did! So I seized another opportunity for some brain washing. "Finney, someone has to WANT to marry you. In order for them to WANT to marry you, you have to treat them very nicely, with respect. And do nice things to show you care. And you have to do that A LOT and for A LONG TIME before they will want to marry you." "OK mom. Can we talk about something else?" I lost him.
2 weeks later
Finbar: Mom, when you get old will you become a grandmother?
Me: That depends on if you have kids.
F: So if my wife has children then you will be their grandmother?
F: So you will be the grandmother of my wife's kids?
F: Then who will marry me???... I know, I want "G" to marry me. How can I get her to marry me NOW?
M: Well, you cant get married now, you have to wait until you are older.
F: Well, I know, I can be really nice to her and play really nice with her. That's a good start, dontcha think? M: Yes.
M: brainwashing accomplished :)
A few days later
F: (to his brother) Declan, I'm going to marry "G". But don't worry you can marry "K" or "E"or somebody else.
D: Finney, I'm going to marry "E"!
A few days later
M: So how was school today Finney?
F: (on way home from school) Mom, I have to tell you something VERY important.
M: (thinking I am going to get a clue as to what he actually does in school) What is it?
F: Mom, I LOVE "K". I love her! Can we have a play date with "K" today?
M: (absofreakinlutely, my boys is in LUV :) :) :)
A week later, after a big playdate at the park
F: Guess WHAT mom? "A" and I played tag. "A" and I are friends now. Isn't that great?...Oooh, but now I don't know who to marry...I mean I think I want "A" to be my wife...but, "G" is still my favorite wife I guess....
A couple of years ago, I read a dismal statistic from one of the only studies that has tracked people with Autism and Aspergers into adulthood. Something like 4% got married. I was gutted at the time. But I know Finbar will not be a statistic. And even if he doesn't get married, he will have tried really hard I think to achieve it and that is half the fun :)