In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, I’m reposting one of my favorite stories about my son, Sam. While there is nothing about this post that is specifically about autism, it’s still an autism post as his diagnosis is a big part of what makes Sam… Sam. There is far more to him than his neurological profile, but there’s no denying that autism is an integral part of his big, beautiful, quirky, brilliant personality. This was originally published December 12, 2007. Since then, Sam has won a Harry Potter toy train (Train Show Raffle in our former hometown,) a $10 Target Gift Certificate (drawing at school in which three students out of 500 won a prize) and a sweet Lionel Starter Model Train Layout (Raffle Prize at a Train Expo two weeks ago.)
Read more Sam posts by clicking the word “Autism” under the “Categories” tab on the right.
Some of you who read here regularly may remember that my son, Sam, has excellent luck. Unbelievable, really. He wins things.
I have never, in any of my 42 years, won anything. Not that I’m bitter.
IMPORTANT BACKGROUND ITEM #1: Last year, while begrudgingly attending a performance of his sister’s play, Sam won seventy bucks in a raffle, during intermission. Then when he entered another raffle, a mere two days after the first, amidst concerned, maternal warnings that most buyers of raffle tickets do not actually win anything, especially not twice, he won the coveted half-hour massage gift certificate.
I worried about the lesson in all this. Gambling = getting stuff. Argh. Then again, it’s hard to argue with a two-for-two winner.
IMPORTANT BACKGROUND ITEM #2: Sam also enjoys
lying convincing me of things. For example, when I say, “Sam, I need you to come over here so we can get your homework going!” he likes to point to a spot just behind me and say something exclamatory, such as, “MOM!! LOOK!! FLYING MONKEYS!!” When I look, he runs away. If he wants, say, a cell phone to call his own, he says that he won one and tells me where to pick it up.
So when he tells me things that seem to be a tad, shall we say, unlikely? I’m a little skeptical.
Yesterday, he came home from school and flopped himself on the couch.
Me: How was school, bud?
Sam: Oh, fine, I guess.
Me: Did anything interesting happen at Chess Club?
Sam: Oh. Well, no, but during lunch I won a bike.
Me (laughing, as I playfully punch him in the arm): Har! That’s funny, Sam.
Sam (with smirky, I-really-hope-she-buys-this smile): No, really. And Chess Club was good, too. I won my match.
Then, we went on to discuss the cold, rainy weather, what I was making for dinner (spaghetti), and the fact that it was quiet since the girls weren’t home yet. Sam got up to go get a snack, and I went looking for his backpack, to see what we had in store for homework.
Yeah, right. He won a bike. Har! How funny.
Then, I opened his binder and found a note penned in big, red, teacher handwriting. The note said, “WOW! SAM WON A BIKE!”
Unbeknownst to me, Sam’s school participates in a program in which kids earn points for making healthy lunch choices. Choose healthy items over junkier ones; earn tickets. Prize drawings are held throughout the year, for CD’s and books and pencils. Yesterday, they held the Big Grand Prize Drawing during lunch.
And now he’s the proud owner of the biggest, baddest, sweetest set of red wheels I’ve ever seen.
The Boy rejoices.