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Family Deserts 7/33

Family Deserts 7/33 published on 15 Comments on Family Deserts 7/33

Hawthorn: Are Mom and Dad away on an emergency again and that’s why you came and got me?

Thorn: It’s not that. Hawthorn . . . how much do you know about your grandparents — your dad’s parents?

Hawthorn: . . . I have a right to bodily autonomy and if I don’t want to be hugged then they’re not allowed to make me.

Kale: Hey . . . is it okay if I ask a question?

Thorn: Oh, uh — Sure.

Kale: Why take the kid home? Why not go out to dinner, keep him distracted, until the dad tells you it’s safe to come back?

Thorn: Routine is important to the kid. Especially after a long day. Getting him home on time is still the least stressful option.

. . . Also, I don’t know any restaurants he’d eat at.

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This implies that Larch isn’t completely estranged from his parents, or at least hasn’t been for all of Hawthorn’s life, if they have been in a position where they were trying to hug Hawthorn and the question was “is Hawthorn obligated to hug them” rather than “are they welcome near Hawthorn and Larch in the first place”.

Given that Larch is frightened enough that he is holed up in his own house, hasn’t called the police, and the gruesome twosome knew to look for Hawthorn at day camps accredited for Changeling-spectrum children, I suspect that Larch and Tansy cut all ties with Larch’s parents by fleeing their previous residence and not leaving any change-of-address info for them to track.

“Bodily autonomy”[Ironside siren intensifies]

A ten-year-old using the phrase ‘Bodily Autonomy’ puts my teeth on edge, especially since chances are he didn’t learn ity because of a love of vocabulary.

*Holds out spare bat* I think you’ll need this.

Thank you for the offer, but I’ll pass. I need both hands free if i’m gonna fall back on my experience keeping an irate grandparent away from a door.

My actual, LITERALLY demented grandfather tried to walk out into -10°F(-23.3°C) weather in his pajamas because he wanted to catch a cab home. We live in the suburbs and he thought he was in Manhattan.

Of all the other sirens blaring on this plotline, including the sentence Hawthorn used it in, knowing the phrase “bodily autonomy” itself doesn’t particularly ping. A lot of autistic kids have very precise and clinical language and will repeat the exact wording of adults. If the rest of the story weren’t red flag central, and this was in one of the cute prior scenes with Hawthorn, having him use “bodily autonomy” wouldn’t ping to me as any more disturbing than struggling to find the perfect arrangement of historical figures in his collection.

“fleeing their previous residence and not leaving any change-of-address info for them to track some time after Hawthorn was born.”

Check thrice, THEN post…

While I like how considerate Thorn is being to Hawthorn’s issues, I still question putting him into the ongoing situation.

I don’t question pulling an uncle in; he’s in the realm of proximate enough to the situation already (and familiar enough with it) to make sense to use as backup. (I can think of four people I would call on in a similar situation if they were in town, and two of them are in-laws)

I am thinking Kale needs to gently back himself out of it soon.

Just realised I totally misread your comment as questioning why Thorn is put in this situation, rather than why not do what Kale suggested. My dumb.

I do wonder, if Thorn took Hawthorn elsewhere, how soon *would* the situation be resolved? I mean, Larch isn’t doing anything but hiding, his parents seem disturbingly determined. If nothing is done to tip the balance, this could go on for much much longer than it’s safe to keep any kid away from home. Thorn has both conflict training to defuse the situation and can defend himself effectively, and has someone he can vouch for to stay back with Hawthorn, or get kid into house, while he uses both.

Yeah, it seems like Thorn is needed not only to accompany Hawthorn but also to back up Larch, and he can’t do both if he’s not there at the house (and Kale, while useful as reinforcement, isn’t familiar enough with the family to be able to do either job solo).

As someone with very similar issues to Hawthorn: both Kale’s suggestion and the situation at home involve unplanned and unexpected social exposure, but going home has that be in a safe and familiar environment where I am supposed to be at that point in the day and have known and established boundaries to reinforce, while going out to a restaurant is in an unsafe and unfamiliar environment which I would have had no time to prepare for. So I think with Thorn’s confidence in being able to deliver Hawthorn safely home and generally accurate judgment of his own capabilities, he’s definitely making the right call.

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