Walking in the dying sun



In a few moments, I have to go upstairs and find some way of disconnecting RT Teen from the computer. It's a tricky procedure involving distraction and bribery dressed as encouragement. Like a sad little flower at the back of the room, RT needs to feel the sun on his face and top up on his non-vampiric vitamins.

I know he's done some writing today and I also know he has made amazing progress with his spectacularly creatively mathematical mega-structure on Minecraft.  It's just that every time I walk in the room he's playing some strange cookie game. And I mean an actual cookie game, with a giant choc-chip cookie on the screen, not some weird hybrid of those internet sprites meant to make our lives easier.

If I was able to go in, unseen, he would be sitting there, his face alight in happiness and his body glowing gently in sympathy with the screen. And he would be socialising.

This is what happens whenever I try to get him off the computer. I know he's been working, Minecraft or otherwise. I also know he's been gaming, cookies or otherwise. But when I go up to detach him from the tech, his American friend will have come online and they'll be chatting.

There is some tech-connection charm which is activated by online chatting. When the chatting begins, all other pursuits are put on hold and I am barely even allowed to look at him. It is paramount that he not leave the computer, though he seems able to chat and still play games. He must stay where he is because their time-lines have coincided and they are communicating across the waters.

No matter that the sun is going down, or the dog is dancing. The fact that he has sat there for a full day means nothing. Neither does that ache in his mouse hand or the weird dryness in his throat which will eventually turn out to be thirst.

It is chat time and America is online, or at least the very particular part of it which shares exactly the same interests as RT Teen.

If I was a non-aspie mother, I would rail at RT and explain about the sunshine and the exercise and the fresh air (don't we all remember the lectures about fresh air?). I would insist he comes off and tell him he can chat to his friend another day. I would make sure he ate and drank away from the computer and did Other Stuff with his day.

I would not go up, see his happy face and leave him for another half an hour. I wouldn't feel ever so gently jealous that I didn't have the internet when I was growing up. I wouldn't go back downstairs and dance with the dog awhile, before going online to find out how much time before the sun goes down.

The aspie life isn't always complicated. Sometimes it is as simple as the hours spent in happy pursuits, the kind of activities which don't have to be what the majority think are good for us.

Readers, I know vitamin D is very important and so, apparently, is fresh air though it was never explained why. It's just that friends and play and contentment aren't always found in a bracing wind or a dying sun. Sometimes they are right here, at home, just on the other side of the water.

Amanda
  

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