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2:34 p.m. - 2012-02-16
The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly of Beauty

Thanks, guys. All of the suggestions and support really help. And confirm how I truly feel about it, in that Wolf is entitled to stick up for himself and tell someone with designs on his bod to shove off. I think my kid should be allowed to fumble his way through the starter course of romance with girls his own age. He should have the freedom to have crushes and pass notes and eventually swap spit with a girl he really likes. The idea that boys should be dead grateful for being initiated into sex by an older woman is bullshit. My son is a whole person and should be allowed to engage his heart as well as his gonads. Anything he does and doesn't do with his sweetie should be based on mutual agreement, affection, and understanding. And equality of age and experience.

Unfortunately Wolf is working under two handicaps. One is he's an Aspie. The Asperger single-mindedness is something I've been working on with him since ever. Wolf is truly starting understand the concept of emotional reciprocity. In all relationships, not just the romantic. To have a friend he must BE a friend. And now thanks to the bread store lady we are in the opposite territory in which he needs to learn that no one is permitted to use him, any more than he is allowed to use someone else. Whether it's to copy his homework or 'borrow' money or get their jollies with the good looking kid Wolf needs to know how to say, "No!" He needs to recognise when he's being played. Something his dimwit father never learned. The ex has done more work for free than anyone I've ever known. It's a weird dynamic in that he absolutely will NOT do anything for me or his kids yet anyone outside of the family can say, "Yo, Mikey, give us a hand with this." And he'd give himself a hernia and a heart attack to comply. An absolutely maddening arrangement in that the people closest to him are continually denied and punished but any stranger with a whim can boss him like a slave. In a lot of sad ways Aspies are the ultimate dupes. I would save my son from going down that same horrible path if I can.

The other difficulty is Wolf being a stunner. Roll your eyes and think I have a bad case of mother love, but it's the stone truth. My son is beautiful. Sure right now he's a bit spotty and gawky, but this is temporary. Yet even at gawky 14 he's not a troll and a couple years from now he'll be a traffic stopper. It's not just looks either, the kid has star power. Always has. One of the reasons Alex went so insane when this interloping little brother was born. Wolf has been stealing Alex's thunder since birth. The kid as 'It'. An inexplicable charisma that's been making women (and no few men) barf their hearts up at his feet and knock themselves out to make Wolf happy since ever. When he was in grade school I used to beg his teachers and the aides to please stop bending over backward for Wolf and treat him like all the rest of the kids. No dice. They were goners for Wolf's charm.

Ask Miss Steph. She's seen it. Been swayed by it a little herself. Even Steph's husband has commented on it and he's not a one to notice and make remarks about people and their attractiveness. There's something about Wolf that draws people like moths to a flame.

I know whereof I speak, I used to have 'It' too. Of course it's mostly gone these days, part physical deterioration and part the aura of 'smug married' that hangs around me like a stink. But I remember well the pleasures and the drawbacks of being someone who traveled in her own personal spotlight. Mostly I dealt with the drawbacks, thanks to bad luck and worse parenting I always saw myself as a hulking beast and even being paid to have my picture taken and walk a runway never convinced me otherwise. But in retrospect I can see how it went. Never got turned down for a job I applied for, even when I wasn't remotely qualified. All I had to do was open a road map or look lost and there was an instant crowd trying to help. Items that were out of stock magically appeared. At a discount, no less. Life is good in Pretty Town.

However, there was the flipside which was NOT pleasant. Men always looking for ways to get their hands on me. Sniggers, guffaws, filthy graffiti, filthier propositions. Instant hate from women. A steady flow of bitchy catty remarks, slurs, hurtful gossip, a snarling dislike that's manifested itself in all sorts of awful unfair ways. Ways that had little to do with the actual me and who I am, and much to do with the insecurities and jealousies of those who have had a grand time doing me dirty just for the pure evil pleasure of it. (Right, P.J.? Big fun, eh? Enjoy your new tits.)

So. My kid has the same burden/gift. And thanks to his autism is even more clueless and naive than I was. The bread store lady is just the beginning. I need to help my son deal with the conundrum of being a walking hormone and yet still just a kid. Of being a whole person who's entitled to privacy, love, fun, and taking his time with the he-she stuff, and being an easy mark for those who'd be delighted to get there first.

It's a puzzlement.

I just want Wolf to be okay. To feel in charge of himself and good about his choices. I want him to recognise and understand the rules of the game. Not just sex, but the whole thing. Life. Opportunity. Power. Options. I'm aching to send my son out into an unkind shoddy world with steadier legs and far more tools and mastery of them than I ever had.

Though I suppose that's what every decent parent wants. And all we can really do is try our best and keep our fingers crossed.


Thanks again to those who chimed in. I appreciate it. A LOT. ~LA


6 Wanna talk about it!

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