Luke’s absolute favorite character on TV is Luke. That goes for photographs too. It explains why we have closets full of photo albums of him and many videotapes of him, for him to look at. It doesn’t much matter who else is in the photos or the videos; he only wants to see himself. I suppose it’s true that all of us like to look at images of ourselves – see how we are aging—did I look good in that dress? But for Luke, it is truly an obsession.
As obsessions go, it’s not that bad really. It keeps him entertained and I’d rather he did that than flapping, spinning, or other self-stimming activities.
We were sure to have Luke’s entire Bar Mitzvah (five hours) taped because we knew he would want to watch it. But every day? We don’t let him watch the whole thing, of course. We prefer he watches the montage, pictures of his entire life set to music, which is only nine minutes.
When Luke discovered the wonder of video, it was stuck in his mind. He’ll stand in the pharmacy line at Walgreen’s and make faces, and jump around while looking at the security monitor. It’s hilarious! (And gives the pharmacy staff a good laugh). As you can imagine, Luke was fascinated with mirrors as a toddler.
You would think that after looking at yourself a million times, you would have a pretty good image in your mind of your looks. Luke is six feet tall, and weights 240. Why then does he think he can climb on playground equipment designed for preschoolers? He still asks me about tricycles and training wheels, as if he could get on and ride them now. I guess, in his mind, there are two of him: the Luke who is 21 and wears a 2XL shirt and the 3 year-old who could fit into the baby swings. That last image pretty much matches his maturity level. He wrestles with reconciling the two images into one persona.
We all have a “mind’s image” of ourselves and it might be much younger than our real ages. With Luke, we will always have our (large) little boy.
(See the video to see Luke's performance at camp which illustrates my point)