Sunday mornings I take C to a social skills class. We walk hand-in-hand through the dappled shadows cast by big trees, then board the subway. I put headphones on him because music helps drown out the noise that gets him agitated. He sits peacefully, sometimes gently rocking. (He seems to like Herbie Mann and Lionel Hampton the most.)
On the subway he likes to announce each station before the PA system does. Depending on his volume and enthusiasm, people regard the pronouncements with looks ranging from approval to worry.
At our stop we head to a Starbucks for juice and coffee, then through Chinatown over to the place where class is held. It’s surprisingly quiet on the normally bustling streets.
Along the way, we’re sure to see a dog or two, and this delights C. Except the ones that yap. Of those he’ll say, “That’s a Startling Dog.” (The first few times I thought he was calling them Starting Dogs, which confused me greatly.)
After class, we have a little lunch at Whole Foods. He sits through the entire meal (a true rarity) and sometimes I can even get him to talk to me a little bit.
“How was class?” (Wait) “How was class?”
“What did you do?”
“I made a piggy.”
“Did you play with anyone?”
“Dylan is purple.”
“Why is Dylan purple?”
“Because he is!” (Bursts into laughter.)
We have several more Sunday morning social skills classes coming up, so the ritual of our little outing together will continue for a while. I only wonder what color Dylan will be next week.