Early Bird and the Beauty Queen

Our local autism society hosts a free night at the zoo for autistic kids and their family once a year. Builder Boy, Early Bird, and I went while Lady Bug stayed home with Daddy. At the entrance for the sign in there was a teen local Beauty Queen greeting everyone as they entered. As I signed in, Early Bird went up to her and told her she looked absolutely splendid. And he meant it.

Later we ran across her and her mother at the butterfly exhibit. While standing behind them in line, Early Bird turned to me and innocently asked how she got to be so beautiful. From that moment they were fast friends, and the young lady engaged him throughout the butterfly encounter.

We parted ways once again and met one more time, this time after Early Bird had fallen down and skinned his hands. For sensory defensive Early Bird, this was incredibly painful, and the overwhelm of his system along with anxiety and pain made him overheat and feel like he was on fire. He was doing wonderfully keeping it together enough to not meltdown while I frantically searched for something to fan him with to help him feel cooler. Beauty Queen overheard and came to his rescue, fanning him until he was calm again.

I took a picture of them because I thought it was so sweet. I love that he charmed her with absolute sincerity. I wonder if he will retain that ability to freely give complements as he gets older. And I wonder, if he does, will it be accepted from a boy who is no longer a child? I think of a male friend who I suspect may be on the spectrum who honestly admires others and is free with his praise and complements, who is unhappily single in his 30’s. I wish the world were more like Early Bird some days.

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