C.S. says "lovely" as in, "isn't the light lovely right now" and it was. He said this over the weekend when we were watching a romantic harbor sunset. But what was more, I knew he had chosen this word that is unusual for eight-year olds like himself not to feign some other voice/accent he had gleaned from TV but because the light looked like love to him. His exactness with this word made the moment even more beautiful to me. It stripped the postcard perfect scene of any cliché and added his own sincerely quirky meaning.
I know his personal definition of lovely because sometimes when I wake him up in the morning, he'll open his eyes and find me marveling at the sight of him — he really is a beautiful boy. On a couple of occasions he has told me, "you look lovely." This is not a compliment. He says it as a declaration, an observation. I understand that his intention is to say "you are looking lovingly at me." But let me tell you, what a wonderful thing this is to hear and it usually precedes one of those rare moments when he really looks at me, deep into my eyes and I get to drink him in. These are lovely mornings.
He often has a poetic interpretation of the things he notices. This weekend, noticing my tan, he said "your feet have become the color of honey." Upon being introduced to friends of friends, he said of the woman, "her eyes are big and they glisten when you speak."
When you realize how many things he notices and the poetic turn in them, it is hard to understand how he completely misses social nuances. But knowing this, I also know how sincere these compliments are because they are not ingratiating at all. They are simply his observations. I am lucky to hear his lovely phrases so often. I marvel at his poetry. And I realize, this wonderful individual vision is something most likely afforded him through his autism.