Part 6. As the dad of an autistic boy. Advice to a younger me.
Let me tell you a story. We were living in San Ramon California (AKA super whiteville, every seen The Stepford Wives?) at the time. We had two kids. My wife is brown.
Because of the strength of my paleness (i.e. pastiness) our kids looked really white (at the time), except for hair.
We are still buying black hair care products for my daughter. I love to go to the Sally Beauty supply (aka black beauty supply store, to all you white people) and put a bunch of black hair care products on the counter. The cashier always looks at me like I am lost.
She is thinking “does he know this won’t work for him” but she is too polite to say that. Usually it is just awkward banter until I say, “these are for my daughter”.
And then we are like long lost friends. “Oh, you like sisters?” If I had known that some women of color like to hear that, I would have used that line long before meeting my wife.
Anyway. We were living in San Ramon and my wife would take the kids out to the park.
One day she came home really upset.
Me: What happened?
Her: Two ladies asked me how much I charge to nanny.
Her: They thought I was the nanny for my kids and asked me how much I charge.
Me: So how much did you tell them.
Now. To me very Funny, to her not funny.
The lesson learned? Don’t always say what you are thinking.
Try to consider your wife’s feelings in all this. It won’t be easy. Sometime they just set you up with great lines that you just want to crush, but you can’t. With Autism, as with life, she may be slightly more sensitive than you. I love turning everything into a joke, just be aware that your wife may not want to hear all those jokes.
Save some for your friends.