Day 54: An Orange Tick

WP_20151104_17_25_59_ProA friend made a link, yesterday, between her 53 years and my 53 days. Today the satisfaction is all mine: I have reached 54 years and a 54th day. As with the years, the days can be an eternity or the blink of an eye; sometimes it feels like an age since Dylan moved into residential care, sometimes only yesterday.

Increasingly, I can feel the heft of my 54 years.ย  A few years ago I became conscious of Dylan and I passing each other as one of us approached the peak, physically, while the other began the decline. Now, at 21, Dylan is in his prime. As well as being aware of how much stronger he is than me, I notice subtler differences. Young adults of Dylan’s age do not, generally, behave like their parents; they perform their own narratives. Dylan might be autistic with learning difficulties but he still has 21 year old tastes and preferences.

‘I love Dylan’s style’, a care worker said to me the other day, ‘especially the way he wears his hats’. Most of the care workers at Dylan’s home are much closer to Dylan’s age than I am. I like the fact that, as well as having a peer group, Dylan has young people supporting him. They act as role models for him, sharing their practices and developing his. So when, last week, a care worker mentioned that Dylan needed some new trainers and offered to support with this, I said a grateful Thank you, Yes. I never know which trainers to buy; I find the range of prices, materials, styles and brands quite overwhelming. I don’t want to guide Dylan to a wrong choice but have no idea what is right. Dylan has a better chance of getting good footwear, I told myself, without me.

So this week Dylan had ‘shopping for trainers’ on his schedule. Although he helps choose his own clothes when he shops with me, this was the first item of clothing Dylan had bought without me. The manager emailed me that it had gone well; Dylan had selected another pair of Nike trainers but with an orange tick. He had them on when I visited on Wednesday; ‘I like your trainers, Dylan’, I said, when I picked him up. In the pub, later, I noticed they were the wrong size and a bit big. The shopping trip might not have beenย  completely successful, I told myself, but this was another new road and Dylan had taken the first step.

4 thoughts on “Day 54: An Orange Tick

    • Oh it’s not my birthday – it does sound a bit like it is the way I’ve written it doesn’t it? I can be Queen Elizabeth today and have two ๐Ÿ™‚ I should have said ‘I am 54 and have reached 54 days’

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  1. My Kid turned 14 last week – he has no interest in clothes, or being fashionable, though I’m sure that will change ๐Ÿ˜‰ So far I mostly get it right with buying his clothes, and those I got for his birthday went down well. I just have to stick to his rules – only plain clothes, or a stripe if necessary. No pictures on the tops, but writing might be acceptable. He’s also into Batman comic books – but quite specific about the writers and artists. When I saw the Joker T-shirt, I knew he would love it, even though it broke his rules. It’s the Heath Ledger version of the Joker, and the image is of his face, but just the very essence – the menacing black rimmed eyes and red slash of mouth. I was right, the Kid absolutely loves it!

    On the other hand, I too really struggle with trainers. As a newly formed runner this has been quite an issue for me – not least avoiding all the pink and purple of Wummen’s trainers!!

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    • Dylan had no interest at 14 either ๐Ÿ™‚ His rule used to be no red. I like the Kid’s ‘stripe if necessary’. Good one. I used to cut tags out of D’s stuff. Too itchy. I cut them out of my own clothes as well actually. Can’t stand them. But now D is away from home he has to have name tags, even in his socks. Oh no! I hadn’t considered the itch implications of name tags before ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’d better check. Always so much to consider. Comic books are generally a hit I think – D likes Studio Ghibli and Japanese animation.

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