Today is one of Benjamin’s favourite days of the year, Star Wars day at Legoland.
For his 16th birthday I gave him a Commander Cody outfit and he wears it whenever he gets a chance, which is not often enough for him. He has an impressive Star Wars lego collection and still loves to build new vehicles. He knows all the characters and this Star Wars day is his opportunity to dress up and talk to the actors parading around. In recent years, he has become a star attraction himself as all the little children want their photo taken with him so we trail around after him while he gets his moment of glory and adulation.
A friend once remarked how our children will be more accepted as adults than they are as children, particularly as teenagers. It really isn’t cool as a teen to know every character and to still play with lego and to want to dress up in star wars outfits. But, suddenly, you become an adult and find that there are other adults who do share your obsessions and you find kinship.
We were amazed one year when we took the boys to a lego builders show in Swindon that there were so many adult lego designers and collectors. There are even clubs and magazines so we know he will find like minded people as an adult that he couldn’t find as a child.
He is passionate about many other things including trains. When the boys were young, we had about 6 different types of train sets including Brio and Tomy which of course had the beloved Thomas the Tank engine sets. We still have a huge collection of them. Again, many young children love to play with trains but most of them grow out of it including our other sons. Not Benjamin, he still loved them. So we started collecting Hornby for him as it was more age appropriate. He still doesn’t have any friends who want to come and play trains with him but hopefully as an adult, he will find like minded train enthusiasts. He was delighted when we moved house to find that our next door neighbour had Hornby trains in his loft room. He also loves to ride on steam trains and seeks them out whenever we holiday in England.
These hobbies as a teenager have been isolating for him as they have labelled him as ‘different’ but actually, he isn’t different at all now that he is an adult.
We worry about our children growing up with autism and not fitting into mainstream society but when they reach adulthood, a whole new world seems to be waiting for them, one which does accept their differences.