Poor Gaba. In the dramatic annals of life-with-Jonah, G’s day-to-day triumphs, tantrums, and wonder fully typical milestones go unannounced, similar to a second child’s baby book I suppose.
Every child is different from every other, and I am averse to making too many comparisons…but really, how can it be helped? Jonah and Gabriel have progressed so distinctly along their own paths, it sometimes feels as though we are parents again for the first time. Maybe every parent feels like this. Maybe parents of autistic children feel it especially. Sometimes it seems like “boy” is the only label they share.
Trucks. Tractors. Buses. Heavy machinery. The boys love the highway for entirely different reasons. The car noise and vibration have always had a soothing effect on J. Driving naps with a hot coffee (or iced coffee) in hand got me through many a morning, and afternoon, and evening in Jonah’s infancy. For G, the highway means looking for lots full of backhoes for rent or a dump truck hauling a heavy load. He lets out a shriek and yells “Arbage guck!” [Garbage truck]. He’s even got J on the lookout for him. If G’s not along and we come upon a steam roller or crane, Jonah will demand I take a picture so G can see it later.
Then there’s the shovels, the rakes and the buckets. G will occupy himself by the hour, with nothing more than the dream of a big hole: “Gaba gig big ole ou-sie” [Gaba did big hole outside]. He likes to dig for worms. He’s figured out that the robins pecking in the wet grass are looking for worms too, and he demands to do the same. He’s stringing words together in longer sequences too. “Jo-Jo take Gaba iPad,” he cries, as John and I look at each other in disbelief. Right. Gaba’s iPad.
Just now he’s settling himself in the space at the base of a tree that is three trees, which I have named The Three Sisters. Before long he’s backing his plastic foot-powered car into the sage with a devilish look on his face. Barring injury, there’s really no stopping this boy child, this baby who’s barely a baby. He’s two-years-old and, as John likes to say, he’s already out of here.