How the Day I Met the New York Mets as Kid, Came Back Into My Parenting Life, Raising a Child on the Autistic Spectrum
By Or Barnea
I clearly remember my dad standing by the phone at our then short period Manhattan apartment, confirming there’s tickets for him and me to see the Mets that night at Shea stadium. I was 10 years old, and the Mets played against The Atlanta Braves.
It was all his idea. Baseball was nowhere to be found where I grew up and I didn’t know anything about it. The second we sat at our seats I was completely blown away. I could not believe how clean everything was, how grateful the American fans were for being given the opportunity to experience such moments, and how much style the game spreads to everyone. I was hooked. And baseball will forever be a huge inspiration on how I look at things, especially work related, and try to make them prettier.
For me, the most exciting moment in the game is when the umpire yells: “SAFE!”, right after a baserunner reaches his base, usually in a dramatic manner, without being put out. And the crowd goes wild.
For a while now, Rocky has had this unique custom to touch my body with his little feet. It can happen at dinner or when we sit on the couch and watch TV. Especially when we fall asleep next to each other. He’ll usually feel my legs or my back as if he’s looking for ground. Some sort of physical certainty. A safe place.
As I’ve read an endless amount of articles after Rocky was diagnosed, there’s a wide theory that some people with autism suffer from issues with “light touch”. In general, it seems to be more unpleasant than deep touch. A lot of them are in need for substantial physical reassuring. They need to feel ground. To feel safe, even in their safest places. The Mets lost that night. But I didn’t care. I was captivated by every little detail. Such as I am today with Rocky’s world.
Ever since the first time he did it I was always hearing the umpire yells and signals “SAFE!” In my head. As if Rocky is a baserunner, not planning to leave it until he is given the perfect chance by his teammates.
In his case, any of his giving thoughts and routines that filter his world better. Makes him run toward the next base, and bring it home.