Adventures in Autistic Parenthood

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Please Rise:

Funerals are sad events, filled with solemn reminiscences and crying and the like. It says so right in the manual. Crowds of melancholy friends and family quietly sitting in church whispering to each other and trying to shush the kids. Well...... most of the kids. A couple of weeks ago Raine's Aunt Jay died, and the funeral was scheduled for the next Saturday. Unfortunately, I had to work that morning and had to meet Dude, Raine and her mother at the service. Unfortunate, because I missed a couple of classic Dude moments. Let's backtrack a bit and set the scene.
I got off work with just enough time to drive home (the opposite direction from the funeral), take a quick shower, get dressed and make it to the service. Needless to say, on the way home I ran out of gas. Texting Raine that I was going to be late, I walked the luckily short distance to the gas station and with that delay raced home to preform my ablutions and drive at a dangerous speed the 20 miles or so to the Church with Raine's mother's directions in my hand. Not knowing that those very same directions had already gotten Raine and her mother lost. Oddly enough, by following her directions I immediately found the exact wrong church, and Raine's daughter (also following Phillis' directions) was combing the wrong town. The females in her family are definitely not related to homing pigeons. While I was frantically searching large tracts of Southwestern Pennsylvania for another UP church and texting Raine for updated directions I was unaware of the drama taking place only blocks away.

The Church was quite nearly full of whispering people in dark clothing seated in the pews. In the third pew on what I consider the 'Groom's side' (I've been to a lot of weddings) seated, in order, were Dude, Raine and her mother Phillis. Luckily, David was being pretty good (for him), a little restless, but mostly quiet. Raine was trying to unobtrusively deal with frantic text messages from her boyfriend (me) and daughter in the middle of a church. During Raine's distraction the preacher walked in the direction of the podium to adjust the slide projector, and my son, despite his pagan upbringing, solemnly, with perfect inflection and in a clear voice said, "Please rise". .... And everyone stood up. The preacher suppressed a chuckle and finished his work with the projector before signalling the congregation to return to a more restful position. Only Raine and her mother had remained seated during the entire incident telling the congregation, louder than words, from whence the order had originated.

The service started just as Raine's daughter managed to find not only the proper town, but the church as well. Raine felt it would be inappropriate to text during the service and despite the fact that his father was still lost in the wilds of rural Pennsylvania, David was in complete agreement. I know this because during the service a cell phone on the other side of the aisle started ringing. The owner obviously didn't want to answer the thing but his (or her) plan of just ignoring the device wasn't sitting well with Dude's sense of the appropriate. After listening to it ring several times David, in an obviously disgusted voice said, loudly and clearly, "Turn off the phone please!". A quiet chuckle wafted around the room, but Raine was clearly tempted to make the funeral a double service with my son filling the second bill. But cooler reason prevailed and she used the incident to escort David out of the building and make one last attempt to corral his wayward father before carrying out his death sentence.

Fortunately for David I was parked in a convenience store parking lot for the latter part of the service and it turned out that I was only 3 blocks away from the church. After visiting with the family for a time I took Dave home in my car. I think it's safe to say that if I didn't save his life, I at least saved him from a long walk home.

No comments:

Post a Comment