August 24, 2013: Life with Jack

We had an overnighter last night. And it wasn't an ordinary overnighter. Jack Halpenny spent the night. Jack is the brother of Brendon, Grant's best friend. Jack has autism.

The Halpenny family have been friends of our for years. Jack moments and stories are abundant. I love to hear them and even better; be a part of them. Last night I was treated first hand to a Jack Halpenny night. His first overnighter at a friend's house was at ours.

Jack is pure and sweet. The words that flow from his mouth may sound unfiltered to a new friend. But those who know this very special boy, know that his words are full of love and honesty. Jack shares his loving world to all those around him.

Knowing Jack, I cherish the posts Laurie shares with me and on FaceBook relating to her daily moments with her son. I have been encouraging her to start a blog to share these warm moments with others.

Understanding autism and the daily life of the family surrounding the autistic child would be a great benefit to our society. Laurie can attest that life can be very challenging, but the benefits and beauty of raising Jack Halpenny in a world that only he knows and understands are also immense. We can all learn from Jack.

I am going to offer my favorite Jack Halpenny moments from last night. And then I am going to encourage Laurie to keep sharing her wonderful stories with the rest of us. Maybe a guest blogger for me on occasion and then a spin-off? What say you, Laurie Halpenny? Jack has a lot to teach us all. Life with Jack.

  • Within an hour of arriving, Jack and I started talking food. Jack lit up and exclaimed, "I need to call my mom!". Soon I hear him leaving a message "Mom, can you please bring over my book, Favorite Brand Name Best-Loved Recipes? Mrs. Lane wants to write down some recipes." Jack proceeded to tell me about all of the meals he wanted to try (or better said, his mom to try) including roasted lamb in plum sauce. Thank-you, Brian and Laurie, for bringing the book. It was exceptional!
  • Jack played on the tramp by himself on many occasions and then wandered around the house with me asking about every flower and plant. When asking about the side ornamental grass, he asked "Is it native?". I told him I thought so. His answer "Native is always the best. Talk to my dad about getting rid of the crabgrass at our house."
  • When I asked where he wanted to sleep, Jack promptly pointed to my bed. I answered that I should probably sleep there as the cat may get upset. Jack then said he would then take Stefano's bed. Stefano could just sleep on the couch. For the record, Jack climbed in bed with me later for a while. Not a bad idea actually.
  • As I ironed clothes, Jack felt the soft warm shirt material and smiled. "Fresh out of the oven!"
  • Then Jack looked at my big tub in my master bathroom. "Can you please leave now so I can take a hot bubble bath?" (I talked him into going into the hot tub)
  • Just now (as I type this with Jack sitting by me on my bed watching his I-Pad) a classic random Jack comment came out of his mouth.
    • Jack: "So when did you and Scott break up?"
    • Me: "About five years ago."
    • Jack: "I hear he's married now."
    • <pause by Jack>
    • Jack: "Jealous?"
    • Me: "No. I think his wife is nice."
    • Jack: "Yeah."
    • And then Jack quietly went on to watching Hercules. Conversation over.
Jack Halpenny is invited over to my house anytime. He is the sweetest companion, forever at my side, and a breath of fresh air in our house. And, Brendon, no's okay for Jack to run around the house in his underwear. I'm glad he feels comfortable. XOXOX Jack Halpenny.


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