Monday, 1 February 2016

Positive notes

Looking over the past few weeks, I have been in a morass of depression and anxiety. My mother died the Monday before Christmas, triggering a massive low that I can't seem to shake. So, I have been trying to dig up some positive emotion to help me through.

I have been griping a lot about people being ignorant, thoughtless and clueless about autism, and treating my kids (and me) like freaks or weak vessels. The details of those aren't important, and I need to stop dwelling on them. But for every incident of that sort, there is a balance of positive encounters with people who are more kind and genuinely compassionate. So, here are a few to thank.

The lady at the Burger King in the long skirt who didn't flinch when my almost eight year old decided to duck under it like he does with me (he calls it his tent), but laughed with him, and smiled with genuine warmth as I stammered out an apology and explanation. She made an awkward moment into no big deal.

The guy at the Tim Hortons who offered my sad, stimmy boy a TimBit to cheer him up when I ordered my coffee. He wasn't put off when Monkey didn't make eye contact or thank him, he just said, "I hope it helps him feel better." For the record, it really did help, for me and for my son.

The older fellow working at the Wal-Mart who allowed my son to talk his ear off about Skylanders for 10 solid minutes, and who smiled and nodded in all the right places, which is better than I can do most days. And then headed for the breakroom. I hope he got to finish his full break, but he delayed long enough to really make the Monkey's day, when he really didn't have to.

The little girl at the park in North Delta, who, upon hearing that the Kitten didn't talk, said, "That's okay, we can still play," and proceeded to play with my daughter until she had to leave. A lot of kids are put off by Kitten's silence and her tendency to wander off unexpectedly. This girl wasn't phased. That says a lot for me about the people who are raising her, too. Good on you. I wish you lived in our home city so we could arrange playdates.

There are so many encounters with people over the course of our lives that leave us upset or angry or just sad. I just wanted to remind myself that there are strangers who accept, who are kind, who care that other people are okay. Who might not know why our kids act as they do, but who accept them as they are, without judgement.

There is hope.

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