Long time readers of this blog would know that I'm married with two sons. No girls. I've suggested jokingly to my wife that we're even now because the dog - and both of our guinea pigs are female.
It doesn't help.
It's a sad fact of our lives that my wife will have nobody to go "girly shopping" with or pass her jewellery onto.
It's not too late. We could have more but much as the idea of having a little girl appeals to me, the thought of having THREE boys on the spectrum does not.
If it wasn't hard enough being the only girl in the family, my wife is also the only neurotypical (we're not counting pets anymore). That's right - the most "normal" person in our house is in the minority.
It's funny how people on the spectrum often understand each other better than a neurotypical would but let's face it. If we're all sitting around taking things literally or jumping into detailed discussions on our often "mutual" special interests, it's obvious who will be left out.
There's not a lot I can do about it. We try to accomodate but ultimately, we're going to fail. My wife is never going to be able to keep up with our "aspie-powered" conversations.
I don't have a "fix" for the problem so this post is simply a "shout out" to the most special woman of our family to let her know that we do think of her. That sometimes when we go weeks without any empathetic response, I know that it's my failing - and my responsibility to "fix it".
Most of all though, to reassure her that I still love her with all of my heart despite the fact that my body language sometimes suggests otherwise.
It's school holidays in Australia now - and I'm at work. My wife is as usual doing her best to look after our children and to cope with their meltdown-inducing teasing and sensory infractions on eachother while simultaneously trying desperately to keep them entertained enough to prevent them from getting up to destructive mischief.
It's a thankless and often unrewarding task.
Then I come home, late as usual, with a handful of grass for the guinea pigs (nope - not flowers for my lovely wife) and I'm greeted by the dog, pigs and kids like a hero returning from the battlefield. The kids are clamouring for me attention and just because I'm clear on the differences between an AT-AT and an AT-ST, they launch into a detailed discussion of droid battlefield mechanics interspersed with what they did and how they felt during the day.
It's not fair.
My wife works so hard for our family. She does so much for the kids and me - yet on the face of it, she seems so "undervalued".
When being hugged, she has had to introduce terms like "chicken wings" to get the kids to put their arms around her and terms like "I can really feel the love..." just to make those hugs a little more responsive.
It's sometimes a little difficult to simply stand there and watch the kids interact with her without showing "enough" affection - particularly when other kids around you are putting on massive displays for their parents.
It's even more discomforting to realise that you, as an aspie adult are probably just as guilty of this as your kids.
So, if your neurotypical partner might be in a similar position, why not take some time out to show them some of the appreciation they deserve.