Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Sweet Sixteen - A Boys Story

On Thursday 28th, my only child, Tom, turns 16.  He's ever so excited to be reaching this milestone.  In his mind, he's now a man and able to learn to drive, surely the definitive benchmark of independence for any teenager.  Never mind that he has to do the first 120 hrs with Mum or Dad beside him.   He'd better hurry up and study the online tests or he wont be driving anywhere.   

Its a crazy age for boys.  They have all these hormones running around and they are unsure of how to deal with urges that make them want to beat their chest and go out a kill a mammoth but at the same time still need reassurance and nurturing from Mum and Dad. 

All this confusion is coloured in my son because he has Asperger's Syndrome  This just means that he has to try harder to fit in with 'normal'  behaviour (what ever that is) and has difficulties understanding social cues, body language, eye contact and written work. Tom prefers to be at home where he is comfortable and safe.  He has a really good friend that has stood by him since creche to whom he is very loyal.  No wandering the streets or staying out in unknown places for Tom.  I am always going to know where this kid is because he is going to tell me, often, or he's going to ask me to go with him. 

All Aspie's have an obsession, a singular interest in one thing which is why many of them are very  successful in their field eg.  Bill Gates, Andy Warhol, Einstein.   Tom's specialty is military.  I'm not sure where this interest is going to take him.  He has big plans to join the army and fly helicopters next year, Gulp! He might want to try spending the night somewhere else first. I don't envy his history teacher this year when they study military history.   If the teacher asked the class an open question he better be prepared for a lecture in minute detail on everything from where, when, who, how right down to the color of the buttons on their uniforms. 

Tom prefers to watch engineering programs, Mythbusters, and Top Gear and YES, he is a very big and committed military gamer.  He tells me that inside the games he is not Tom and he is by all accounts very very good.   Its amazing to see a boy that struggles socially in real life put a headset on and start commanding troops (of other online gamers from around the world) through a strategic battles using all the military jargon and codes and be totally in control.  It’s surreal
Junior Rifle Club

Tom is working part time at Hungry Jacks (Burger King) for 12-14 hrs a week after school and on weekends.  His motivation is purchasing military games, DVD's and consoles and at the moment i am greatful that he is able to finance his own interests.  His Manager tells me that he is a good trainer and he is very detailed in his guidance of new staff.   I am very proud of him for going outside his comfort zone and making an effort.

Tom loves his dog, Peppy, and has a special relationship with his Dad, also an Aspie.  They understand each other which is more than i can say, but i try.  They have their own special brand of humour and laugh riotously often.

Iron Man Dad

Tom and his dog, Peppy

The Boys
I sometimes cant tell the difference between them.  Obviously its not all beer and skittles but therapy, medication and a lot of love, goes a long way. 

First Day of School - its a mother's right to embarrass their son on their 16th!
Tom in full Aussie national costume.

I'm posting today because he wants his friend and his family to come over for fish and chips on Thursday.  Saturday he has a couple of kids coming over for gaming.  This is what he has asked for.  That and a coffee machine. Huh!  What 16 year old boy wants a coffee machine.  Not complaining, I'm sure I'll score some occasionally and its use will be monitored.

So in closing what can i say to my funny, loud, interesting & clever young man who will be sweet 16.  He's just gone to bed giving me a kiss and telling me he loves me, so tonight its all good.

Happy 16th Birthday Tom 

Love Mum XXX

Thanks for Visiting Living in the Land of Oz


  1. Oh my goodness - your husband is handsome and look at your cute son!!!! He reminds me a bit of my Gage. 16 - YIKES! Gage is only 14 and is already having the "when I get my license"/"when I buy my car" discussion. They grow so fast, sometimes I wish they'd just slow down a second...other times I'm so fascinated to see what is next. Tell Tom HAPPY BIRTHDAY from Ohio, in the United States!!!!!!

    1. I told Tom what you said and he said to say "Thanks" in his big deep voice that sounds so strange coming from his cutey-pie face. My husband said you need to go to your optometrist for an eye adjustment.

  2. Happy Birthday Tom. xx

    My 16 years old got her Learners Permit two weeks ago, and she's not that exited about learning. She says that we're pushing her to do it. We are just exited/proud that she's got it. When I got my learners I was so exited, all I knew was that I didn't want to be like my mum who doesn't drive and rely's on my dad (and public transport) to get around. What to do?

    Hope Tom had a great Birthday.


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