In his own space he floats like a balloon.
He’s happy going it alone,
Daydreaming, soaring in the sky.
Coasting down from private a sky,
Careful, safe, in his balloon.
The one that’s his and his alone.
It makes us sad that he’s alone.
No one’s allowed with him in his sky.
He won’t let friends in his balloon.
His protective balloon, muffling the sounds of the world around him, keeps him blissfully alone as he floats in the chromatic sky.
That would be my son, there, in the corner. While all the other kids in karate were happily participating, my son chose the corner. He spent 90% of the class time picking at his hands, arms, and knees. When asked if he wanted to join class, he said, “No.” Even before the corner, he was just standing there. Just standing, doing nothing. Focused on his hands. His arms. Picking. In his own world.
There’s a sense of desperation I feel when I see him this way. When I see him in a crowd, but alone. And I feel crestfallen. The longer he does nothing, the sadder I feel. Maybe I shouldn’t. He doesn’t seem bothered by it at all. I don’t know what is in his head, but he doesn’t seem to mind being alone. Should it bother me? I don’t know. Maybe it shouldn’t. But it does. More than anything, I want him to have friends. A social life. But is that for him or me? It doesn’t seem to make him happy at all. He just wants to be alone, really, unless someone has something he wants to play with.
Yes, he needs to learn to socialize to function in society. But part of me feels guilt for feeling sad that he’s isolated because that feels selfish in a way. Like, I just want him to be normal. But what is normal, anyway? It’s not like I have an easy time being social. Or maybe seeing him alone triggers that sadness inside of me that I feel when I’m alone, and I feel that for him when I see alone, even though he doesn’t seem to mind.
He just floats along. He’s blissfully unaware of the people around him, unless they play a large role in his life. Family matters. School matters. Karate matters inasmuch that he feels like if he earns a new belt, he gets to go out to eat. But for the most part, he’s in his little bubble. His balloon. And if we can get him to float on down from wherever he is up there and socialize with us, we are so, so lucky, because there is a brilliance in there that I wish he would share with more people.