Wednesday, January 19, 2011


We went to McDonald's Playland Monday, to meet with a friend and her son. Our goal, to sit and watch the boys play while we sit and chat and enjoy adult conversations. Ha! Since there was no school due to MLK day I think every other parent on the west side of Wichita had the same idea.  No seating in the play area, barely any seating in the whole place. We ate quickly to get the boys playing. Went back to the play area where there was standing room only.  I thought driving a bus of 72 camp kids was loud and chaotic, that had nothing on this event.  Kids of all ages screaming, crying, laughing, pushing, pulling, well you get the idea.   My autistic son had a melt down while trying to go across the swinging bridge. He starts yelling "Everybody stop, so I can try this!" I overhear comments from parents about not controlling my son, but I'm getting used to that.  I go over to my son say take deep breaths, he then starts running across the bridge using his quick deep breathing and saying "get out of my way, get out of my way!"  but to see the joy and excitement as he made it across was priceless.  My friend's son was younger and having a hard time getting up into the play area, it was so sweet to see not only my son, but many other older children seeing that he needed help and doing so.  At one point my son became very overwhelmed and had to be put in a "hold" to keep him from hurting himself or others. A parent sitting next to me says, "don't let him get away with it, when he's 13 its going to be worse." I just let it be, but then he says "its always interesting to me to see how mom's try to reason with their children" I finally said "things change a little when your child is on the autism spectrum" and turned back to my son and working on calming him down. The man says "now that makes since, I'm a retired child psychologist, and now see that what you're doing is a result of education on your part. You are the parent that has realized things don't quite fit the "norm" and will do whatever you need to help your child be a great asset to society some day." I was shocked, I was overjoyed, I was encouraged, I wanted to stay and talk more, I was thankful God had put that man at McDonald's that day.  This was a lesson to me in a couple of ways. First, it's ok for me to speak up about my sons disorder at times,  secondly I need to work on not be offended by what people say, allowing them to display an opinion even if it is uneducated. 
This got me thinking about my spiritual life.  How often am I afraid to speak up about my Savior in fear of being an outcast?  How often do I become offended if I think people won't or don't agree with my beliefs?  My Savior was a servant, he loved people, he brought healing, he gave his life so that I might have mine.  Is this what I convey to those around me? I hope so, but know I don't always, praise God that everyday is a new day and a good day!!!!

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