I'll never forget the time when Thomas was just a tiny young boy, probably only three or so, old enough to be a smart alec, but cute enough to cause a lot of trouble; and we were in the mall. He'd been doing something that he shouldn't, I'm pretty sure that it was that he was getting too far away from me, and every time I would reprimand him, he would say "Sorry" in this little smart mouth sort of way. Well, I'm not one for giving too many chances, especially when it comes to issues of safety, so I took that cute little red headed boy under my arm and hauled his cute little butt out to the truck for a good talking to. As you know, in the mall, this is not a short or direct route.
So, as I am winding my way through the halls, and stores and food court of the echoing mall, this adorable kid is screaming at the top of his lungs "I'm sorry, Mommy, I'm sorry Mommy" crying and hiccuping the whole way. To this day, more than a decade later, I can still remember the looks of contempt and concern on the people's faces as I carried my very naughty toddler to the parking lot for a conversation about safety in the city and what the word sorry truly means; and I really do mean a conversation, not a beating.
I know that the people were concerned for the safety of my young son and that all they could see was a very young, frustrated mom and an apologizing cute, very upset, toddler. But, the background on this is that Thomas at the time had learned that a quick sorry could get him out of trouble, or so he thought, and I had had enough. Especially when it came to his safety, again, I am not one of those moms who believes in discipline in times of convenience. Strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. We had our discussion, and headed home for the day; Thomas learned very quickly there are consequences to his actions; but, sadly, so did I. As I said, I will never forget the looks on the faces of the horrified people as I very rightfully so, disciplined my child at the mall that day.
This incident has been on my mind because of a big blogging blunder. And I do mean BIG. I had never heard of this blogger before, and to be honest, I'm so irritated, I'm not even going to directly link to the original blogger from here, but I do encourage you to follow the links. What started out as a post from the original blogger fuming about her perfect children's right to time on public computers turned out to be quite insulting to the autistic blogging community and friends. I found a great response post at one of my new favorite blogs, Mom NOS and am really happy that I signed up to read the follow-up comments as well, because I have learned a myriad of new things about Autism, it's kids and their families in the process.
So, here I sit a week later on Autism Awareness Day. I brought that story up because I completely understand what some of those parents must go through on a day to day basis, worrying about the judgment from other people. And, to be honest, I hope and pray, that if I'm in a hurry and cranky and late, and whatever; that I am always at my most tolerant, and aware of what is going on around me. I also found some great information on a new blog that I am following called A Life Less Ordinary? and really like it. It has some great insight on Autism and it's signs and symptoms so that maybe we can all be more aware.
But, you know, the one thing that I have taken away from all of this, is that it has had me, and for that matter, a lot of others, thinking about it a lot this week. You know me and timing. I think everything happens for a reason. There is a reason this happened at this time, near Awareness day, and there is a reason I have been constantly thinking about it and following up on it. We must simply learn from it and move on, yes that is easy for me to say from "the outside", but I am definitely learning from it....Learning how to better serve the needs of the kids who need us most.
Learning how to become more aware of people who could use a hand in public.
Learning to appreciate a blogging community that is as tough as I am.
Learning I can't wait to work with some of these kids and moms at my ranch!