I know it's hard to be his friend sometimes. I know that it would be easier to find a friend who didn't struggle to interact with you. I know it would be easier to find a friend who likes to do things that interests you, not just things that interest him. I know it would be easier to find a friend who asked about your day, who asked about your vacation, who asked about your...anything. It would be easier to find a friend who walked next to you, not behind you, who sat beside you, not two seats away from you, who invited you over and played with you the entire time and didn't go to his room...alone...wishing that perhaps he had never extended the invitation to have you over in the first place. I know it would be easier with someone else as your friend, but, believe it or not, for Ryan, being your friend doesn't come easy to him either.
For Ryan, it would be easier not being your friend at all. It would be easier to stay locked in his room, in his world, hidden from the social implications that come with being a friend that he doesn't always "get". It would be easier for him not to invite you over...ever...so he wouldn't have to agonize over what to say, how to say it, and worry after he said it, if he in fact, said it right. It would be easier for Ryan to stop being your friend because then he wouldn't have to try and remember things that you like, things that you don't like and things that you want to talk about. Not because he doesn't care about you, but, because it's much easier to remember every location of every country in the world, than it is to remember if you like chocolate or vanilla ice cream or if you want to talk about Minecraft or girls. It would be easier for Ryan not to be your friend and to always walk alone, not two steps behind you, it would be easier for Ryan to sit alone than to sit near you and it would be easier for Ryan to play alone than to play beside you. You see, when Ryan lets you (or anyone) "in", he understands there is a good chance he will do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing and act the wrong way, and that then makes him vulnerable and he opens himself up for embarassment, confusion and ridicule. It would be easier for Ryan to remain alone, remain "friendless" than risk being hurt by someone he doesn't understand and who doesn't try to understand him.
As hard as it is to be Ryan's friend, it's even harder for him to be yours. Not because you aren't patient, kind, fun, accepting or understanding, but, because being a friend is hard for Ryan. Period.
I know it would be easier with someone else as your friend, but, I wish you could see yourself the way he sees you, the way I see you. Ryan sees you as a friend worth the risk. Ryan sees you as a friend worth the struggle. Ryan sees you as a friend worth the uncertainty. Ryan sees you as a friend that is accepting and understanding. Ryan sees you as a friend that is safe. Ryan sees you as a friend. Period.
As Ryan's mom, I see you as a friend that Ryan wants to try and know better, even though his words, his actions, his inactions may look otherwise. I see you as a friend who is flexible and willing to go with the flow and sometimes sacrifices what you want in order to keep Ryan happy. I see you as a friend with a kind soul and a gentle heart who loves to come to our home, hang out with Ryan, raid our snack cabinets and always, always leaves with a smile. I see you as a friend who tries to teach Ryan what it means to be a friend, how it feels to have a friend, and how the right friend accepts you just as you are. I see you as a friend who opened a door for my son that may have always remained closed had you not walked through it.
I wanted to take the time to share this with you, to help you understand why sometimes it's hard, but, mostly to thank you. I want to thank you for understanding that easy isn't always "right", easy isn't always best and easy isn't always cool, but, some things, some people, are worth a little detour around Easy Street. One day you may decide that it is too hard, that there are other friends that are indeed easier, but, I want to thank you for being the first friend. The best friend. The true friend. The friend who opened the door and showed Ryan what and who was on the other side. The friend that showed Ryan that even though having and being a friend can be hard, when the right friend comes knocking at the door, he should try and let them in.