Quirky and I went for a walk around our neighborhood the other day. It was nice getting out after a winter's worth of practically hybernating. The walk for the most part was uneventful...she chattered like a monkey in a tree about Oscar Fido (http://themisadventuresofoscarfido.blogspot.com/ ). I listened and nodded a lot...somedays that is all I manage to do because I can't seem to get a word in. It was one of those kind of days. She had been talking nonstop since she sat down in the car after school.
I think she spends all day so quiet that it builds up like pressure in a soda bottle and then BOOM! Its like an explosion of words. Its not always conversation mind you...sometimes its just words an endless parade of what ever is in her mind...my participation is not always required. It was one of those kind of days. So I listened. And listened. And listened. And listened. (I can't pretend to listen because with Quirky there may be a test later...POP Quizzes can happen at any moment around our house. Mom do you remember the other day when I said...? UH..YES?)
The point is Quirky had been talking and talking and talking. So imagine my surprise when...NOTHING. She just stops talking. Switched off...in fact she completely switched off. Stopped walking. Wouldn't move...frozen. Uh-oh. I make the scan of our surroundings. Is it a bug? (Often its a bug) noise? (motorcycles are the worse) someone? (stranger or friend) dog? squirrel? Car? No, no, no, no, no and no. So what is it? I stand there waiting and hoping that she will relax enough to tell me. She finally points (her eyes big) and askes "What's that?" I follow her arm to see what the offending object is...that has caused such a dramatic reponse. It's a pothole. HUH? Why is she acting like this over a pothole. We ease forward slightly so she can look at it closer. Staying far from the edge because we don't want to fall in.
Its not deep and in my eyes there is not much to see. It is after all just a pothole. We finally edge past the pothole and continue our walk. She is silent. I wait. I know she is working something over in her mind. "Mom is that like the pothole on *********street?"
OH! I see. A while back a large sink whole had opened up on one the main streets in our town. It was quite the talk for awhile. They even discussed it in school. Signs were posted that you couldn't drive past a certain point. It was a sign we saw often...in was on our route to a place we go often. I never realized how scary that sign could be...to a child...and confusing to a child with Aspergers. It was just there...something I saw but did not see.
The rest of our walk was consumed with explanations...the difference between a pothole and a sink hole, what causes a pothole and how you fix them. That walk reminded me that although Quirky is quite high functioning it is still so easy for things to get misunderstood.