Many times I use this blog as an outlet for my frustration when it comes to all things autism and how we just don't seem to fit in. That's not the full picture and I want to set things right. However, being sleep deprived mom who is often chasing after her Kiddo in his path of chaos, I often don't get the chance to say a proper "thank you" to those who deserve it. I don't want them to think I wasn't grateful or because I barely got the words out before I was off that I just said them without really meaning it. Trust me, I did.
To Gino and the pizza place. Our pizza place. My husband is a smart man and knows every once and a while I am not going to want to cook. He's going to say the romantic words, "Let's go out to eat." to me and it will cause me to swoon. My standards have changed vastly. It won't be fancy. It will be at a place that sells soda by the can and pizza by the slice on a paper plate. But if you sit in the back, a very nice waitress will come over with a menu and crayons for your Kiddo. She will remember his slice and a side of fries order and a chocolate milk. The owner will greet the Kiddo by name as soon as we walk in. They won't bat an eyelash when he sings along to the radio or says his verbal stim du jour ten thousand times in a row. They never sigh upon seeing us. They smile instead. The waitress will give the Kiddo one of her aprons because she knows he's fixated on it. They will scold me when I do come in without him to grab take out, "Where's the Kiddo? You tell him Gino says Hi!" I wish the world was filled with Gino's and that everywhere anyone went there was a waitress that would patiently listen to the Kiddo as he placed his order. Acceptance at it's best with a good calzone to boot.
To the teenage girl at the mall that saw me struggling with Kiddo when he was in full on meltdown mode. I was trying to get him to leave. He was in tears, screaming. You walked away from the gaggle of girls and over the door. You held it open wide and didn't say a word. You just pitched in. You could of easily stood with your pals with your mouth agape. You just saw what needed to be done and it was just not much out of your day or out of your life to do it. You didn't give me a look of pity. You didn't give me a look of judgement. You just helped. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am so glad to know that there are people like you who just see where they can help and do.
To the lady running the bouncy house at the ballpark. Who knew the that sound system at the place was going to set the kiddo off? Like most things with autism, we won't know till we try. We'll try and salvage the outing as best we can. Bouncy house for kids? Put him in. Maybe that can help. When you turned to me and said "Lady, he's crying." I really was ready to rip your head off. I knew he was. I curtly replied how he had autism and was just trying to cope. You then said the words that nearly broke my heart and made me hang my head in shame. "I figured. My brother has autism. I just wanted you to know in case you couldn't see him in there." You weren't judging. You were helping me and I couldn't even see it. I'm was an ass. Forgive me?
To the countless kids at my son's school. You see him when we are out and about and you make a point of saying "Hi." I am always so amazed by this. Usually the kiddo doesn't reply unless I prompt him. None of that seems to phase you. You just kind of know, that's his way. So many of you volunteer to sit with him and his classmates at lunch or to play games. You just do it. No questions asked. I am amazed by it. It fills my heart. My only hope is as you both grow older, you'll still show the same amount of acceptance. It's one thing at ten but please still be kind in your teen years. I have hope you will though.
And there are so many more and I know I am forgetting them. I'm sorry. Thank you for being patient with this absent minded Mama with much on her mind.