A Tubby Tabby, Three Konekos, and a Life with Hello Kitty and Autism

Archive for the 'Love♥' Category

Autism and Kitty Love

Friday, August 1st, 2008

My son Alphonse will turn 14 in a few months (in three months, to be exact) and were he your ordinary, every day, typical kind of boy, he would not have a thing to do with Hello Kitty. His older brother, Alex, does not even set foot inside a Sanrio store, except when absolutely necessary, like when he has to buy a gift for me. (When Gift Gate used to carry Legos, Alex would ask that the Legos be brought to him by the door. The sales persons, thinking he was darned cute, would oblige. They would stand near the doorway, hold a couple of Lego boxes, and Alex would make his choice by pointing from afar. I think this will change in the near future, when he has to buy gifts for girls other than me.)

But Alphonse, well, he grew up with Hello Kitty beside him- on his bed, on his clothes, on his things- and to him, it was as natural as anything else in his little world. While A was concerned that I encouraged it a little too much, he didn’t exactly forbid it. I think as long as Alphonse was happy, he was happy too, never mind that Hello Kitty does not rank anywhere near A’s favorite things in the world.

This week, a package I ordered some months back arrived. It came from Esi, one of my friends in the Multiply social network. I knew as early as then when I asked for measurements that this would not fit me, but I had someone else in mind: Alphonse. And I was right. When he donned this on, he gave me the sweetest smile, rubbed his hands gently on the fleece surface, and hugged me tightly. Even more, when I started taking pictures of him, he posed like a world-class supermodel.

Wearing his fleece vest (from Tita Esi), with his Kitty timer (from Tita Vivi) on him and his favorite Kitty vibrating pillow (from Mama) in unprompted poses

Ah, the innocence and simple happiness of a child, one of autism’s unexpected gifts.

Just Because

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

A took these out from his pocket a few nights ago and handed them over to me without a word.

Four Hello Kitty pens, a pink nail clipper (now attached to my housekeys) and a small metal sliding-top box for medicines or trinkets

“What are these for, honey?” I asked him.

“Nothing, they’re just some things I thought you’d like,” he answered.


“Just because,” his voice trails off as he kisses me lightly on the lips.

 My heart turns to mush.

I play with the pens for a while. I hang the clipper to my keys (you never know when Alphonse might need a trim). I like the box best as I think about transferring my carry-on first aid items to this box.

“Honey, did you notice Kitty’s nose is not yellow?” I try to make more small talk as A slips off his office barong.* He stops what he is doing and looks at me.

“Is her nose supposed to be yellow?”

“U-huh. She might have a stuffy nose in this one, it’s all black!” I giggled like a mababaw na person (mababaw translates to shallow, but the vernacular sounds more apt) .

A asks to look at the box and gives out a groan as he turns it over.

“What?” I asked.


It’s okay, honey, I love it anyway.


*Thirty second lesson on the Philippines: a barong is an embroidered dress shirt of the Philippines; for office use, linen is the cloth of choice but for a formal affair, the choice of cloth would be delicate fabric made from pineapple, banana, or abaca fibers