Off to see the birds. We set off for the RSPB reserve at 8am in glorious weather. Son was in great spirits happily firing facts in my general direction. I certainly upped my Puffin knowledge which sadly is not difficult.

Unbelievably I found Bempton Cliffs first time. Everything is going to plan. Even remembered not one but two pairs of binoculars. One pair being so old it predates the discovery of glass.

Son had drawn up a detailed itinerary which included a picnic. I wasn’t particularly hopeful on the picnic front. The chef conjured that up at 3am in a state of some disrepair. Not so much Gordon Ramsey more Gordon The Big Tank Engine.

As per the itinerary we visited the first viewing location. Absolutely stunning. Son spotting many different types with the newer binoculars. The view was not so clear with my prehistoric viewing aids. The combination of lens scratches, permanent fogging and the inability to focus took me back to my University Drinking Days – and that was just my knackered old eyes. As for the ancient binoculars – might as well have been trying to look through two Yorkshire Puddings.

Unfortunately at the second viewing point the plan went to pot. Before I could react the really helpful (and clearly very nice) bird expert suddenly approached son and asked him if he wanted to see a juvenile Gannet taking its first sea swim. The sudden and unplanned social interaction completely spooked our son. I could see the terror in his eyes. Bravely he took a very quick look through the bird experts spotting scope to see the swimming bird. A minute later we were quickly exiting the reserve – meltdown in progress. An hour later we arrived back home.

That’s just part of our Aspergers world. You can plan all you like. Risk assess to the finest detail but you can’t plan for everything. It’s nobody’s fault. Not the bird experts, not the parent, certainly not our son’s. These things just happen. All you can do is get back to the safety of the home, pull up the drawbridge and settle in. Try to come up with as many distractions as possible. Red Dwarf and Marvel are great. Football outside is a winner. Important point to Dad – we have a small garden so don’t try to hammer the ball with a bit of bend in to the top corner of our small goal – son will wet himself as I launch the ball into orbit – somehow it landed in the garden TWO houses away.

Three big pluses from the day:

  • RSBP Bempton is absolutely stunning so well worth a visit.
  • The Gordon the Tank Engine made picnic was not to shoddy at all.
  • If you have your picnic on the trampoline with the safety net closed it keeps the bugs off the food.

And above all at the end of the day son is smiling and that is all that matters. It doesn’t matter how you get there – just end up smiling.

72 thoughts on “A brief moment in time

  1. Hello Gary. I am glad it worked out. I have seen that spooked behavior and need to get to safety before, but that was in different circumstances. Do you think Son will get better dealing with it as he gets older? Is there training to help him adjust to changes in environment or pre-planned activities? Sorry if you have answered these questions before or if they seem out of line, I am learning about this as I read your blog. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am glad he got to see the birds – the views are stunning! And you’re right – it’s no one’s fault. It’s just a different world and you helped him get back to his safe spot. I smiled at the picnic on the trampoline and hearing your son ended his day smiling. All that matters ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember that my family went to a restaurant they had been too many times. They didn’t have the Pasta on the menu anymore, that my granddaughter had. They had to leave because she couldn’t handle it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have absolutely no idea how difficult and challenging Aspergers can be, but I am so grateful to learn through your eyes. I am so glad that, at the end of the day, there was something to smile about. God bless your son (and you as well, of course). The photos are spectacular – what an experience. Your son’s intelligence and wide range of knowledge amazes me – what a joy he must be to you. Thanks again for the education!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Alls well that ends well, and the end of that day sounded very well indeed! ๐Ÿ™‚

    RSBP Bempton does indeed seem a stunning place, and i love the photograph of the birds lined along the cliff slope edge! Great shot.

    Pity about the Yorkshire pud looking ‘glasses’. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m guessing you didn’t send son round to the neighbour’s to ask for his ball back as if HE’D been the one to kick it there?????

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “It doesnโ€™t matter how you get there โ€“ just end up smiling” – I LOVE this!
    Thanks for the post, it was a lovely read. I’m heading Yorkshire way, so I’ll definitely be adding this to my to-do list ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great post to help those of us who don’t live your life to understand how easily we, as unsuspecting but “helpful” people, can set a meltdown in motion. Being helpful and kind can sometimes involve ignoring people. Tricky.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hey, your son still interacted. He didn’t just run or freeze, he did look. And that’s something! And you still had some beautiful moments before returning home, and it sounds like you still made the most at home. Sometimes the most one can do in a day is go to a park (that’s all we managed on Sunday), but even such little trips can still be fun for the littles. xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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