Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The White Moth: An Autism Story

If you don’t already know, I have two sons with Anxiety Disorder, Autism and Learning Disabilities. Sparky, the oldest, was about seven years old when we went camping up around Paris, Idaho. It was purely a camping trip—no fishing, traveling, boating, etc. We parked the trailer amongst the pines, facing on open flat and stayed.

On the second evening of the trip, Sparky spotted a little white moth just outside the trailer window. He named him Whitey but called him Little Buddy. The moth consumed his thoughts for the next three days. Now whether it was the same moth or a different one (honestly, who can tell) that little white moth continued to fly around our camp.

I’m sure we used bug spray. I’m sure we had a campfire. Nothing seemed to send Sparky’s Little Buddy on his way. Sparky chased him around the camp by day and watched him flutter about his head while we sat by the fire. My husband and I were sure he would fly into the flames, but Whitey never seemed to leave and particularly hung around the outside of Sparky’s window. We were doubtful that it was the same moth. We also got a little tired of hearing about this moth for four straight days. When we tried to tell Sparky that it wasn’t the same moth, he promptly told us he could identify him. Yeah, right.

And so, our camping trip went, and it was finally time to pick up camp and head home. Sparky asked if he could take his little buddy home with him. Of course, the answer was no which lead to snot and tears. As we slowly rattled away from our camp spot, I swear I saw a little white moth in the rearview mirror…following us.

Spring went by and the Fourth of July soon came. It was time for hotdogs on the grill and a night of fireworks.  Who should show up at the party? Yes, Whitey. With much joy and happiness, Sparky was certain that the little white moth was his little buddy. He could identify him, you know. We tried to explain that there was no way Whitey could have traveled all that distance to West Jordan, Utah. Sparky wouldn’t accept that answer and danced around the yard with glee.

Now mind you, my husband and I didn’t want to share this story with anyone. We were certain it meant our son not only had disabilities but was also a mental case.  We certainly weren’t going to discuss it with his therapist. We didn’t want to know the answer. I also wondered if that moth had hopped a ride on the bumper of our trailer in order to stay with Sparky, but then I questioned my own sanity.

About a month later, we headed down to central Utah for another camping trip, about 200 miles away. Sparky asked on the way, “Do you think Whitey will be there?” My husband and I looked at each other and groaned.  Sure enough, as we setup camp, a little white moth appeared. Sparky was overjoyed.

To this day, and with Sparky in his twenties, we still try to never bring up the subject of moths…or Whitey…because Whitey lives, and he can still show up just about anywhere, especially out camping.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
Fly into a good book at: http://www.dragonflyromance.com

Copyright: relikten1 / 123RF Stock Photo (Dog added)

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