Should've seen that one coming. And looking at the words on the screen, I can see how the concepts spiral outwards, spreading insidious tendrils into so many places of the Eldest's world.
Fuck. This is what's on the other side of the medical microscope - the creeping, spreading sense that people view you as cracked, broken, propped up by your meds, or your behavioral techniques, or your medical/educational team. I can see the fine hand of the loving, worried architects who built this edifice from good reasons, good cause - and curse it, them nonetheless.
And thank my lucky stars that I have a kid who wants to talk about it, even if he doesn't want to tell me why. I don't want to get anyone in trouble, he told me, and related vague incidents to explain his concerns.
Look, I said to him, ducking the question of neuro-normalcy. You are a kid. When you were the Toddles' age, you needed a stepping stool to reach the sink, right? Because you were short, and you needed a boost. Kids aren't broken when they can't reach the sink - they just haven't grown tall enough yet. And that's the deal. Kids need tools - or help - not fixing. And if you are having trouble sitting still and need a squish [hug], it's because you are kid - and kids need help while they grow. Tools are good, right? I checked the kid's face. He nodded, recognizing his cue - despite his current anti-tool, lemme-alone stance. I risked a closing flourish. And in time, you'll grow into the person that you need to be.
The Eldest grinned. I tried to look him in the eye, without wincing too obviously - I have tried to fix him, and I've spent hours and weeks and electrons thinking about him as being a scratch-and-dent. So if anybody talks to you like you need fixing, just remind them that you're not broken - you are a kid, and you are growing.
Right. Now: walk the walk?