So, #2 and #3 were at their dance recital, and Beth was babysitting Kole for Ashley and Eric. That left Jake and I to ourselves. A rare treat!
Jake had spent the day cleaning the house, lining up the shoes on the porch, making beds, and putting away clean laundry. He kept telling Beth that “Jake’s a good growing up man!”
After he’d done a week’s worth of chores, he and Gabe had settled in and played Super Luigi on the Wii. They’d finally beaten the last Bowser and saved Princess Peach.
We decided to rehash this and spend our evening together over video games!
Jake not only wanted to share this with me, but he also needed my help with the new quest that had presented itself.
Now, let me start by saying that I’ve always been the reigning Nintendo champ in the house. The kids always turn to me to get past the rough spots.
Jake took over Player One, and handed down my orders like Patton leading his soldiers across Germany. On more than one occasion, he’d get frustrated with my performance and tell me, “you just stay over there, RYAN, and I’ll do it.” And then, in a smarmy teenagery-way, say, “Did I just call you Ryan?” He knows that drives me crazy.
Together, we earned quite a few Star Coins (the new challenge), and had lots of laughs doing it. When there was a problem we couldn’t easily solve, the solutions he’d suggest were sometimes craftier than the ones I’d come up with. For a kid with “intellectual impairments,” he sure is smart.
Every once in a while, Kole would let out a baby blatt, and Jake would quickly don his headphones. After a minute, he’s release one ear, test the room, and remove them again. When Kole fell asleep, Jake insisted we turn the TV down really low, so as not to wake the baby.
Autism isn’t stereotypically characterized by social interaction/dialogue, consideration for others, problem solving, or witty banter, but my time on he couch with Jake was sure filled with those things.
We even found time for some goofy selfies.