This week I found out what the hardest part of having your phone stolen is, if you are a 13 year old boy with Aspergers Syndrome.
L had his phone stolen from out of his school bag while it was unattended for a few minutes during lunch break. He was a bit upset about not having his phone for a few days until we can replace it. He was a bit annoyed while he thought he'd have to learn a new phone number (which he doesn't, so that was dealt with quickly). He was sad to think that he may have lost the progress on a couple of games he had been playing. But do you know what really upset him?
"Mum- I just don't understand how anyone could actually do that to someone. I mean WHY would you take something from someone that isn't yours?"
The heart break in his voice reminded me of my other children when they were around 3 or 4 years old and they realised that everyone dies. And I was in that horrible position that all mothers dread when you have to take away a bit more of your child's innocence and explain that not everyone out there operates with the same amount of integrity as they do.
I wished I could protect him. I wished I could find the person who took his phone and explain to them the impact their actions had. I felt angry at the thought that they probably wouldn't care.
I hugged him hard, and said, "not everyone is as nice as you, Buddy, and not everyone thinks the same way as you and respects other people as much as you do". He straightened up, and squared his shoulders. "Maybe we could ring the phone and ask them for it back?" I realised as I said it how ridiculous my reply was- "well, if you took a phone would you give it back just because the owner rang and asked you to?" He looked at me blankly. He truly did not understand the question. It was an absurd question- he wouldn't have taken the phone in the first place. I tried again- "Do you think someone who stole a phone would keep the SIM card in it and answer it if it rang?" Nope. Still drew a blank. So I simply said, "Buddy, someone who steals a phone for fun will not return it if we ring and ask for it." He took that as fact, and he sighed.
I sighed, and wished that there could be more in the world like my boy, and wondered how to help him cope with all those who aren't like him.