The title of this blog comes from a statement made by my neurotypical daughter after her dance recital dress rehearsal several weeks ago.
She and her class of 11 6-7-year-olds had just finished rehearsing and she wanted to know how I thought they had done. I have learned how to be bit neurotypical with her, i.e., I have learned to not tell everything I am thinking, but to put a positive spin on most things, unless hearing the absolute truth is necessary for her long-term success in life.
So I replied, truthfully, that I thought it was the best they had ever done, and that, almost truthfully, I noticed that she only seemed to be confused at one section towards the end of the dance (really, there were a few other places – but she seemed to get back on track faster in those places, so I decided to just keep my mouth shut).
I wanted to go into a typically-Aspergian detailed description of every good and bad point of the routine, but knew that would not be helpful at this late hour, so I just said that I thought everyone seemed to do really well, and something about only a few getting lost at a few places, just like her (I just can’t blatantly lie all of the time, and wanted to make her feel like she had done just as well as everyone else – which she pretty much had), so it was really good.
Her response to my assessment was the title statement. From what I have learned from observation and anecdote, I guess that is a very typical attitude among neurotypical girls of that age (maybe of all age? – anyone with insight into this can let me know…).
For me, that is the strangest statement in the world. How does being friends have anything to with how well you all did? I mean, if they had gotten together and drilled each other on the routine, OK, then I could understand. But they didn’t. They worked hard in class for 45 minutes once a week, and very seldom did I see them help each other out. The helping was pretty much left to the teachers.
Also, my daughter never even saw the other girls outside of dance class. So to say that they were all friends seemed a stretch. Aquaintances and classmates? Yes. But friends?
I found her assessment incomprehensible, but very touching.
I think I should try to find ways to try to think a bit like that. It would make life sweeter, I think. Though I don’t think it will be easy for me to do: )