He sits there in the faux leather chair, watching the computer screen, headset loosely draped over his head. His orange hair is still a mess from having just raised himself from his nightly slumber.
I look out the window and see the sun just starting to peak through. It's early. I wonder what it is that forced him out of bed and upstairs. I look over his shoulder to see what he is doing. YouTube. I should've known. He spends several minutes searching videos. These are not the nefarious act of some malcontent pervert, nor are they the searching of someone hoping to see the next viral video. Instead they are the obsessive searches of an eight-year-old boy on a mission.
"Dad," he says, "How do you spell phantom?"
I spell it out like the walking dictionary I am for him.
"Thanks dad," is his reply.
I can hear sound coming through the headset. It's instructions. He has once again found a video on how to build something using Legos or other lego-like items of creation.
He spends about twenty minutes watching these DYI videos while I continue getting ready for work. I pour myself another cup of coffee and settle down in the chair next to him. I have a few minutes before I need to be on my way so I figure I will play electronic cards. Motion out of the corner of my attracts my attention. I swivel my head.
Aydin is still in front of the computer screen, but now instead of the DYI variety vids he was perusing, he is now watching online snippets of the game Halo. The music, 311's Paralyzer, is oozing out of the headset and in to my ears. I can help but smile as I see his right hand, raised in a fist, pumping to the beat. His head bobbing in unison, or at least attempting to.
Aydin is an oddity in my house. For many years we wondered if he would be able to speak, or, if by chance, he would be forced to learn alternative ways of communication. But, as fate would have it, we moved to the Kimball, Neb. school system where, after one terrible year with a speech pathologist, he finally came into his own.
Now, with the help of a new speech pathologist, Aydin talks quite well. And, as I watch him, and listen to him sing along to the song, I know that things will be good for him.
Just yesterday, Monday, July 4th, the youngster decided he was going to figure out a skateboard. His brother, Vincent, rides fairly well and is dedicating himself to his Ripstick, leaving the skateboard riderless.
So Sheree and I took them to the skate park and let them have a go. Vincent did as I suspected he would; flying down hills, cutting tight curves and even attempting to ride up the half pipe.
Aydin, attempted a downward descent right out of the box and fell, scraping his elbow but not hurting his pride in the least. I was close to him when he fell and, although I wanted to run to him, I checked myself. He stood, brushed his scraped arm, and announced that he was good.
Half-an-hour later and Aydin was gliding down hills, both feet on the board. I could never do that.
So now, this morning, as I watch his pumpkin colored head bob up and down, I can't help but smile. I know that Aydin is going to be ok.