A Lightbulb Moment

I can pinpoint the moment when I first knew my son was different.

My son Will, age six, came in from outside for a bathroom break. He walked out of the bathroom, shirtless, with his fly open.

“Your barn door’s open, and I didn’t hear you flush. You left the light on, too,” I said.

Instead of going back into the bathroom, he wandered into the living room.

“Hey, Kingfish,” I said. “I’m talking to you. Go turn off the light and flush the toilet.”

“Oh.” He walked back to the bathroom. There was no flushing sound, and when he walked out, the light was still on.

“Flush the toilet and turn off the light.”

Will returned to the bathroom, shut off the light, and walked out making shooting sounds. I put my hand on his shoulder. I wanted him to get it. “You turned off the light, but you forgot to flush.”

His eyes lit with understanding. This time he turned the light on and walked out.

This is a normal kid: healthy, average birth mass, potty-trained early. I saw, though, that he was wired differently. “Go into the bathroom, turn off the light, flush the toilet.”

Will rushed into the bathroom, flushed the toilet, walked out, saw me, and then ran back to hit the light switch.

“Do you have a lot on your mind today?”


“Never mind. Zip your pants!”

“I love you, too!”