21 Dec 2011
The Teen Party - I survived but Son2 almost didn't
Apart from, of course, ordering in all the food and soft drinks that will be inhaled by the party goers. This is my job, to be welcomingly silent, remain in the kitchen and produce copious amounts of refreshments.
As I'm setting out cans of drinks (less easy to spill than glasses, I reason), Son2, 12, enters the kitchen. He's not been having a good time lately, his Asperger's has rather taken over.
"I'm going to sit on my bedroom balcony for a bit," he announces. Distractedly, I reply that he doesn't have a balcony. We've just refitted his Technolair but a balcony was not on the specifications.
Minutes later, I hear a rumble and then Son2 falls past the kitchen window, crumpling to the hard patio floor outside.
I shriek and dash out as he picks himself up and dusts himself off. "Oh My God! I screech, what did you do? Are you hurt? You could have been killed!"
"I slipped," he says calmly. It turns out that his 'balcony' was his windowsill and he had slid down the small half-roof under it and tumbled to the ground, falling ten feet. He grazed his knee, nothing worse, luckily but my nerves were shot.
I locked his window and poured myself a calming sherry.
Minutes later the first party goers arrived. My visiting sister, unused to teenagers, took herself off to her room and shut the door. Then she evacuated the house entirely for the relative peace of the nearby pub while I tried to ignore the noise level that only twelve teens, girls and boys can make.
I think the party was a success. Certainly Son1 was happy. I shared a glass of wine with some of the Mums at the end and the house was ours again by nine thirty. The Sky+ HD remote control vanished, never to be seen again - no one has admitted responsibility.
Would I let him have another party? Well, yes, I think I would. His friends are all nice young people, polite and respectful. But most of all, I cannot say enough how wonderful it is for Son1, whose ADHD & undiagnosed Asperger's when in mainstream saw him with almost no friends and an angry child. Now, with four years at the right specialist school with intensive social skills training and support, he's doing well and his recent review at school described him as a popular boy. This thrilled me more than any academic success.
I hope that with the continuing support of his school, he can turn these newly found skills into second nature. He's going to need them - he's climbing Kilimanjaro in 2013.