The location: Family Home Front

The players:

Son #1: Diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at 3 1/2, didn’t speak until he was 8, has progressed nicely since and has graduated high school this past spring.

Son #2: Super hero of the family, considerate, funny, polite, and smarter than most humanoids I know who is home that day with a sore throat and little fever.

The Scene: Living room, complete with two new red couches (purchased on a whim by my husband while grocery shopping this past summer), with Son #2 home sick with laryngitis, Son #1 is essentially grounded – his plans to go to the art gallery “RUINED!”

Son #2 lays on smaller couch, freshly showered, helping himself to my iPad to watch another past episode of “Top Gear”.

Son #1 emerging from the basement researching artists on the web, studying their forms and styles to see what is happening.

Me, I’m in the kitchen (again!) doing another sink of dishes. Let me tell you, the “Early Retirement Gods” have some twisted sister humor. The day I “retired” the dishwasher went on the fritz and the lawn mower threw a rod. Picked up the lawn mower (Good Lawd, wouldn’t want the neighbors to think my husband a heathen by not mowing in a timely manner, would we?) leaving me now scanning the ads for a blockbuster sale on a dishwasher. So, anywhoo – in the meantime I tackle and tame the ever breeding army of plates and spoons the old fashioned way, by hand. (fake smile)

Son #2 has been answering my questions with the memo app on my iPad – saving his voice for someone else I guess. Son #1, who uses the app for his doodles and drawings, is a little ticked his brother has (again) hijacked his shit. “What’s WRONG with you!” He bellows at his brother. I explain, “he’s got laryngitis, be cool and cut him some slack.”

Stomp. Stomp, STOMP! Into the kitchen comes #1. I jerk my head away from my sudsy hell hole to see #1 grab my refrigerator black erase memo board. He whips open the pen, jots a note, holds it to his chest and proceeds to beat like Tarzan to get his brothers attention.

#2 doesn’t waiver, scribbles a hasty reply – #1 wipes and retorts…this goes on for a few rounds, my head watching the literacy ping pong match in front of my very own eyes.

Soon, #1 wipes the board for the last time and heads back downstairs. I look over at #2, still on the couch with my eye brow in full Spock mode. He shook his head with a wry grin and went back to his program. I grabbed a towel, wiped the suds off the floor and turned back to my drudgery.

I never asked after the context of the exchange, only marveled in the moment that we’ve come this far. Silent bickering. my eldest, the one who took so long to find his voice, facilitating communication with his temporarily silenced brother.

Life is good. Little things matter. And swearing at each other with facilitated communication devices in our home? Acceptable. ~ Wendy Frye

“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.” ~ Richard Bach