Balance

Just because I am a fan of fairness and equality, I feel the need to share what happened while out and about today.

I had Micah and Luke at McDonald's this afternoon, and once again Micah was at full volume, yelling at Luke about the placement of his ketchup cup, or the fact that he was eating one too many fries, or exclaiming how unfair it was that Luke had a chicken sandwich and he only had a burger. (For the record, I had a Starbucks. Me and the McD are trying to end our relationship.) Today I truly did not care what people thought of us. It isn't like McDonald's has never had a loud child in it before. In fact, I didn't care so much that I didn't even notice the lady beside us staring. At least not until she introduced herself.

With a very understanding and knowing smile, she asked if Micah used sign language a lot. (He was today. He made me proud.) She said that her nephew was nonverbal, and he sounded just like Micah. We talked for a while about how much he uses sign language, and how her sister gets discouraged and cries a lot, and about what a wonderful boy her nephew is.

I could feel the love she had for him, and the awe and respect she had for her sister.

We ran into her in Wal-Mart later, and she laughed as she said, "I thought it was my nephew! I can't believe how much they sound alike." I always love running into people who are not afraid to smile our way, or take a moment to touch our lives, or to share a story. That truly makes my day. And I'm so very grateful that for every rude comment I hear, there are at least a half dozen kindnesses to balance them out.

And you know what's even more amazing? The fact that so many people are in awe of people like me, and my new friend's sister. Special kids aren't given to special parents. If I hear that one more time I'll scream. Special kids probably make special parents though. Micah has taught me more than the other three children combined never could. Things like tolerance, and extra patience, and acceptance of the unchangeable. Things like temperance, and guilt-free parenting, and letting go of my anal parenting ways.

I always envisioned myself as a parent. I thought of walks, holding a toddler hand in mine, or teaching the alphabet, or reading bedtime stories. I never once saw myself as the parent of a child with a disability. I don't think that anyone ever consciously does. But if I could go back and change the way things are, I never would.

9 comments:

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Um . . . a 'special' kid makes you an awesome mom? How is that wording?! The connections that the universe so graciously throws our way never cease to amaze me - both the good AND the bad. I am so happy that you had such a great afternoon!

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Ahh thanks for sharing that! Brought tears to my eyes!!! Kennedy has definitely made me a special mom! For sure!

the planet of janet said...

ahhh. now THAT'S better ...

utmomof 5 said...

I am so glad you have more people be nice than rude. And kudos to that lady for being so cool :)

Michelle said...

Yay for happiness and good people! What a ray of light :)

BeautifulWreck said...

I have been told since we adopted our son with special needs that we are special people for doing what we do. I do not feel special. Some days I feel like I suck and can barely make it through the day. I know at times I seem patient, and God knows I advocate for my kids. but I get tired. Alot. I think I am just in survival mode like all the other parents who have sn kids.

Shellie said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Flea said...

Kewl. I love the photo. :)

Trannyhead said...

I'm so glad that people are at least occasionally nice to him. It gives me hope in the human race.

I am all too familiar with the "eat feces" looks - my kid is EXTREMELY loud, too, and I get them. ALL THE TIME.