C recently asked to go to the museum “to see the pretty pictures.” Mind blown. So off we went.
In the first gallery, it became apparent he was less interested in the paintings themselves than when they were painted. He’d regard each painting for just a moment, then scrutinize the information tag posted nearby, before moving on.
“That one is 442 years old. This one is 377.”
An older woman nearby seemed interested in his observations. With warmth she said, “He loves the dates, doesn’t he!”
“It appears so,” I said.
She smiled broadly and said, “Well that’s lovely.” Then she ventured, “His math is a little off, but it’s wonderful to see someone so young interested in history.”
“Oh, his math is right,” I said. “You see, he insists it’s 2167, not 2015. So this painting from 1790 is, in fact, 377 years old in his world.”
Her smile faded momentarily, and then it returned with a slightly knowing tinge to it. “Ooooh, I seeeeee.”
“Well, he’s a very special little boy.”
“Yes, he is. Thank you.”
I used to feel compelled to tell people about C’s autism. Now I rarely do, unless I think there’s a valid reason for them to know.
But sometimes people just get it, and that’s the best.