Thursday, December 22, 2011
What a 9 Year Old Can Teach Us Adults!
I have been on both sides of the coin.
I have been the parent who has judged other parents too quickly, I have also been the parent who is judged now.
With Faith and her erratic behaviour and Hope and her ADHD (that some people still don't see) I have had the looks, the raised eyebrows, the "friendly advice" and the glares. These mostly come from other adults, whether they have kids or not.
Last night, I learned something, and I am going to share it with you.
It is a busy time of year, lots of parties, visiting, gifts and excitement. Lots of food and treats and candy. I have already blogged about how we are going to get through this season with Faith.
But last night, we went to a Christmas party, it was wonderful. We have gone to this one for many years. I have missed it once, when Faith was born. The next year, Faith was in a stroller and barely moved. The year after she ran wild during the dinner and program and tested our patience. She climbed the stairs: up and down: over and over again...This year, she sat through the whole meal.
PROGRESS!! It is great when you see it.
Then it was time for the program, and I knew, just from looking at her, that she was done. She was bouncing and climbing around the chairs and the table, she had made a mess with her cupcake and had icing everywhere. I knew it was our cue to leave.
So, I headed out to the hall with her, while Pete stayed in with the other kids.
We walked around, we looked at the tree, she jumped on the furniture (which I kept reminding her was NOT ok to do) and I tried to keep her in the one area.
A little boy was brought out by his mom and he was just sitting on a chair nicely. He looked to be about 9 years old.
Faith liked him. She would jump all the way across the hall to him and give him a hug. He would hug her back. Then she would run to me and then back again. He must have gotten at least 10 hugs from her by the end.
While she was running back and forth, he matter of factly, asked me if she had autism.
I was kind of shocked at the bluntness, but realized how much I appreciated it.
I answered him, saying she has something like autism. He asked me what. So, I told him that she has a brain injury and it makes her behave in ways that can look like autism.
He said "oh", then he went on to tell me that his cousin has autism and doesn't speak. He also said that he has a form of autism and also has ADD. Then he told me that his head and brain were hurting, so his mom was seeing if they could get their gifts early, so they could leave. He said he felt like his head was going to explode!!
His family came to get him and they left.
I sat there in awe. I really did.
If we adults could learn from this little boy, think how different this world would be.
He was non-judgemental. He was curious. He was respectful. He wasn't afraid to ask the question. And most of all, he was understanding to the situation with Faith.
He got it.
Maybe, with this new year on its way in, we could all take this lesson and instead of judging others, we can actually talk to them. Or, instead of feeling bad for others we can offer help.
I am glad that we took Faith last night, otherwise I would have never met this little boy.
Let's change the world...we can be the change!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!!