Unexpected house guest

So I get a call at work today from the Principal of the middle school near our house, telling me there’s been an incident involving our house and one of the students. I was confused. First, because I thought the call was about my daughter, and I wondered if she was in trouble for something. I mean, why the hell yes does the Principal call you. It took me a moment to realize that ths wasn’t the Prinicipal of the Elementary school, where my daughter attends.

Then she tells me there is a police officer with her and they put me on speaker phone. Now, I’m getting a little concerned.

Turns out one of the autistic students at the middle school somehow got out of the school, made his way down the block, and found his way into our house. I left the back door to the garage open. My bad!

Anyway, apparently there was no damage done to the house. The kid just came in, helped himself to an icecream sandwich from the freezer and watched TV. No big deal. 

I could tell that the Principal and the Officer were cocnerned that I might be upset, but I wasn’t. Didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I was just glad the kid was all right, that he wasn’t hurt, and that they found. In fact, I was impressed with  his choice of movie. He managed to find my copy of Repo Man that I keep in the office on a shelf with my other GenX books and movies. So…he’s got that going for him.

Actually, in a way I’m glad our house was open, because the kid was known to be a runner, and who knows how far he might have gone before they found him had he not stopped in at our house.

When I told my wife about it, she thought it was pretty funny. So do a lot of people upon hearing the story.

The Principal was relieved and very grateful that I was so understanding. There might have been a time when I would have been more concerned, just because I used to be so unfamiliar with people who have autism, but for the last four years I’ve worked with a guy who is autistic. He’s quirky but intersting, and funny sometime too.

He processes books here at the library as well as shelving books and he is quite good at both.  His autism is actually a benefit in this case, his need for order makes him good at what he does.

I remember realizing that the guy I worked with liked me when he started giving me coupons to fast food places. I used to have a pretty good collection. And though being autistic means he doesn’t like physical contact and rarely engages in it, one day passing him in the staff lounge he wanted to slap me high five and I did. I took that as I big compliment.

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11 responses to “Unexpected house guest

  1. That is so cool that he high-fived you; cool of you to not get ulcerated. I would have been totally freaked. Yes – it probably was PROVIDENTIAL! that your house was open. He could have fallen into the hands of something bad. =( So, you are the house on the block with cool after-school snacks. We had, like, butter and crackers. Cool house. LOL!

    Hey – have you heard about Brokaw’s new book – BOOM! Ugh…I already broke the news to Latchkey Man and O’Neill.

  2. Thank you for being so supportive and understanding of those in the Autism community. My younger son has Autism and I have been so frustrated by the negative judgement and criticism we’ve received from people in the general community. Then again I’ve been surprised by the acceptance and tolerance we’ve received from total strangers who may have no idea of the pain and frustration we experience in everyday life. I call these folks our angels because they give unsolicited support and foster hope for my child’s future. Thank you, angel, for not filing charges and for accepting this incident as just another of life’s quirky little happenings. You have no idea how much hope this gives this mother for her son’s future world. Thank you. The boy must have sensed that yours was a “safe house”.

  3. Our entire house was pleased that our little visitor found our house to be filled with yummy treats and good movies! When I think about how cold it is outside right now I’m just glad that he had a warm, safe place to stop on his journey.

  4. Chris can attest to the fact that I was once saved by ice cream in the Lopez house. So, time to turn it into a Hallmark Hall of Fame screenplay, buddy boy.

  5. Whoa! No one ever calls me an angel. Well, except for my mom, and she hasn’t done it in years. So thanks!

    I always imagine that I’m seen as more of a devil actually. I’ve certainly been called as much, and worse. Really. You want testimonials? Get in touch with some of my ex-girlfriends. They’ll give you an earful.

    I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be the parent of an autistic child. Heck, I can barely keep up with my daughter, who is not autistic. And no doubt insensitive people can only make it worse. I’ll admit that when I first began working with the autistic guy at my job (his name is George) I was a little nervous just because I’d never spent much time with an autistic. My main impression came from Dustin Hoffman’s performance in Rain Man. But it didn’t take long to get to know George. I think my first real connection with him was when I started two-finger saluting him each day when he would say goodbye before leaving for the day. Ever since, that’s been our thing.

    Anyhoo…

    Mike: What do think of the title Ice Cream Palace for a title? Sounds pretty Hallmark cinema, doesn’t it?

    I’ll let Mike tell his ice cream in the Lopez house story, if he chooses. If he doesn’t then I’ll tell it.

  6. The first time Chris took me to Pi’s Thai, we got a carryout and took it back home. Foolishly, I had told them to go ahead and make it hot (that’s three peppers on the menu, or maybe it was four). I knew I was in trouble after the first bite–as Ralph Wiggum might say, “It tastes like burning!” But I was determined to down every fiery morsel, so I helped myself to a bowl of ice cream from the Lopez freezer and alternated excruciatingly hot mouthfuls with spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream. Masochistic gluttony meets creamy resourcefulness.

    Chris–I think you should invite the lad who visited Casa Lopez to write a “guest” blog about his taste in movies. He seems to be off to a good, interesting start.

  7. Yes, Michael. It was quite the impressive display of teary-eyed stubbornness. I couldn’t believe you ate the whole thing. In fact, had not been there to wintess it I might not have.

    And, having our recent house guest write a guest post for this blog would be a smashing ideas. But he’s required to wash his hands first.

    Angel Lopez — why does that sound familiar? It is a good character name. I’ll have to make note of it.

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