After reading the article titled, Restaurant Manager Writes Touching Open Letter To Mother Of Autistic Child in the online edition of Business Insider, I found myself with an intense desire to want to drive to the establishment where you work and shake your hand.
What a BRILLIANT move on your part. Not only did you create a huge sense of relief for this mom as she probably finds herself in a constant fight with the world, but you provided an incredible lesson for all of the people around you. Everyone who was in ear shot got to see YOU taking a stand for humanity.
How brave and marvelous!!
WE get SO irritated when families are not managing their crying, difficult children so that WE can EAT our hamburgers and fries in quiet. Lest we clearly forget that we SHARE THE WORLD?
It reminded me of the time my youngest son was bellowing in the supermarket. At three years old he was being outwardly adamant about my purchasing an absurd object that he insisted he would die without. As we roamed through the soup aisle towards the pasta, I could feel eyes burning into my back. At a glance, I saw the hatred and disapproval shooting out of the other shopper’s eyes. My little guy was making a huge fuss. Face dripping with tears, nose in a constant flow down his face, and hiccupping to boot while screaming, “MOMMY PLEEEEASE!”
I was exhausted, burnt out and my ears were blaring from the sound. I felt awful for not giving in but with this little one I had to stand my ground or we’d go through this pattern every single day. So, I ignored him as best I could. I knew deep inside that his impulse control issues were making him respond so alarmingly. I also knew that because of his neurological/development issues he was going to finish this out until well distracted. I had been trying everything but I was part of his problem so it wasn’t working at all. He was a smart little dude. To top it off, he was WAY overtired and over-stimulated from the two hours at the playground. One might say, you could have shopped when he was not battling these pre-emotional settings but that is easier said than done. I had a one hour window to get some dinner before I had to pick up my other son, go to the dentist, drop off papers at the bank and so on and so on.
It plainly worked out due to simple motherhood scheduling issues that we wound up in this market with the frowning, disapproving, hateful lady.
She could have helped me. She could have picked up any of the hundred items off the shelf and waved them to my boy. She could have made a silly face, smiled, talked to him. She could have asked him what his favorite color was or if he liked pretzels. She could have chosen to do anything to take his mind off obsessing about the toy. Instead of helping me deal with this, she chose to SHAME me. She decided to make me feel bad about my mothering skills, my scheduling issue, my inconsiderate behavior, and my over-needy child who was bellowing in HER market. And then it hit me.
WE SHARE THIS WORLD!
What a JOY that moment ended up becoming. Sure, my baby was still a hot mess but I realized that we share these openly common places and while you want my kid to be quiet, I want you to be respectful, kind and helpful.
I know you are with me, Mr. Posnanski because you chose to be that kind, helpful person.
Sincerely another needy mom,
image credit: Linda Giddens via photopin