The good news is, he is not talking about my butt AS much any more. It only comes up about 2-3 times per day as opposed to upwards of 20 times. His newest perseveration, for there is always something that seems to occupy Adam’s mind; is his desire to turn 18 years old. For once he turns 18, he will get to do two things; swim in the adult swim at the pool, and change his name to Gordon.
I get wanting to be older. One of my earliest memories is being 3 years old in preschool. I was so jealous of the 4 year old class for they had this, in my opinion, really awesome slide that only their class was allowed to use, for they were ‘the big kids’. I remember sitting on our dinky little 3 year old slide wistfully watching the older kids. It really wasn’t the fact the slide was all that great, but more the fact that using the slide was forbidden. And, in life, we always seem to want what we can’t have. I’m sure the same will hold true for Adam, once he turns 18 and is finally allowed to swim with the adults. I’m fairly certain that he will find that swimming with adults is not all that it is cracked up to be. But he keeps talking about it. Non. Stop. I’m just taking it day by day and hoping that the appeal of swimming during the adult swim at the pool will subside.
But what I find more interesting is Adam’s desire to change his name to Gordon. Why Gordon? For weeks, I racked my brain. Finally, it occurred to me what sparked this idea. I suspected this was because Adam was obsessed with the character train Gordon from Thomas the Tank Engine. The one and only television show in which he ever had any interest in watching when he was younger. Upon questioning him, he was adamant in stating that he is too old for Thomas, but then proceeded to say that changing his name to Gordon was ‘kind of like when mom loved the Brady Bunch when she was younger’ I acknowledged that I did in fact LOVE Brady Bunch. I also reminded him that it never, ever, occurred to me to change my name to Marcia, Jan, or Cindy. He continued to neither confirm nor deny that Gordon was related to Thomas the Tank Engine. Knowing that we could theoretically be having this conversation for days, I let it go. In the end, he wants to change his name to Gordon. End. Of. Story.
What I find the most interesting is the reason that he wants to change his name. He is named after my grandfather. Chris and I had agreed almost immediately that Adam would be his name if he was a boy. In our opinion, it was a nice, strong, straightforward name, that could not easily be replaced by a nickname. Until now.
This past winter, something triggered his strong interest in all of his great grandparents names. Upon learning that he was named after my grandfather, Adam requested to meet him. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away when I was in high school. Bracing myself for the parade of questions that I knew were coming, I sigh and say:
Grandpa Adam is dead. Unfortunately, his autism forces me to be blunt and straightforward. There is absolutely no point in sugar coating anything, for I would just have to keep explaining until he understands.
How did he die?
He most likely had a heart attack before he hit is head and fell down the stairs.
I felt cold and insensitive in explaining my grandfather’s death in this matter to him, but it’s the only way that Adam understands. Cold. Hard. Facts.
Adam doesn’t like having the same name as a person who is ‘all dead’, so Adam is changing his name to Gordon.
For the next few months, he only wanted to be addressed by the name Gordon. I reminded him several times that there are many ‘dead Gordons’ too. However, he reminded me that he does not personally know any dead Gordons. He wasn’t buying it. So much for trying.
One day as he was going through his entire script about how his great grandfather died and then moving into the topic of his impending name change, I mentioned to him that he could not legally change his name to Gordon until he is 18 years old; all in desperate hope that this fact would put a stop to all this madness.
So Adam is going to have his name until he is 18 years old and Adam is going to have to ‘deal with it’.
And mom is going to pretend that Adam’s name is Gordon for 6 more years and she is going to have to ‘deal with it’
Ok. He got me. I may need to accept the fact that my youngest son may someday actually change his name to Gordon. In the grand scheme of things, I’m fairly sure that there will most likely be bigger battles to fight!