Since I decided to start taking care of myself last year, I have been walking everyday..unless it's 100 degrees like this week into town with Da Boys. We always hit one of our two haunts. Einsteins.... for large sugared sprinkle cookies...or my personal fave, Starbucks....so I can get a peppermint mocha...and the kids can get whatever treat they have in the case that day.
This is the story of a trip to the latter.
86 degrees but with a breeze. "That's workable" she thinks. With two ABA (applied behavioral analysis) sessions down she starts to prep two curly haired boys to take to the streets. With cool clothes, layers of sunblock, canteens of water and fantastic sunhats they leave out their backdoor all excited to get out of the house and looking dang stylish while doing it! The trek is oppressive even with the little breeze that encircles them every few feet. The two curly haired boys don't care, they are ready to run, ready for adventure and ready for a good hit of sugar! She keeps asking "Are you okay?" with concern in her voice. She doesn't want a trip to the ER due to heat related illness. The oldest says "Yes, Mommy." The youngest...well...he's still trying to break free of her tight grip to run up and down the hills on private property. He loves green grass and cares not who owns it.
They finally make it to their destination. As she begins to order she leans down and tells them, "Go sit." They giggle and go do what she says while pulling off their bright colored bucket hats and exposing their sweat drenched curls to the cool air.
But something is amiss.
Someone is sitting in "their spot"!
They don't know what to do!
They look back at her confused!
She looks up from paying for their goodies and realizes that this could be a problem. And quickly...it does!
Though the place is filled with people, it's sooooooooo quiet. As if they had stepped into a library, not a coffee house. The people are all involved in their laptops, their books, their java and all of them are at least 20 to 30 years older than these loud and now confused curly, haired boys.
All of the sudden.... she feels insecure. "Just sit over there", she says pointing to a table by the window and trying to keep her voice low but loud enough for her little ones to hear. They don't get it and try to sit right next to all the people trying to focus. The oldest one decides he does not like the chair arrangements and begins dragging the heavy wooden chairs across the rough tile floor.
The chair bellows as his little hands pull.
In an instant, he is the center of attention. Everyone looks up from their projects...
At him then....
At her! She feels herself dying a little inside.
She gets their goodies and while trying to keep her composure, quickly gathers the curly haired boys like ducklings and scurries them over to the table by the window.
They voraciously devour their treat. She thinks all is well, until the little one decides that he needs to run again.
Again the chairs......
One lady leers from her cell phone conversation. "Oh God!", their mother thinks as her cheeks flush red. The lady looks away and resumes her conversation.
The little one is restless. He's acting like there are wings attached to his rear but he still comes over every time his mother asks and tries to kiss his way out of trouble as if to say..."Ma!....it's all good!"
But she is so worried that their presence is disturbing the rest of the store that she grabs him and sits him on her lap. That doesn't hold him... all 2 1/2 years and 33 lbs. of juicy-ness! He flings backward on her lap in hopes of getting tickled and peels of laughter echo in the rafters.
The lady sitting next to them gets up. Puts her laptop in her bag and walks over to the table.
"Here it comes!", their mother thinks. You can physically see her brace herself to the chair.
The lady speaks.
Their mother's mind...........Runs!
"I'm going to have to justify his behavior. I'm going have to tell her that he has autism... I'm gonna...I'm gonna...I'm gonna........."
The lady's words finally permeate through the scenarios simultaneously playing in her head.
"I just had to tell you," she said, "your children are just gorgeous! They look like angels. Their hair!!!! just like in a painting!"
The curly haired boys' mother sits dumbstruck but manages to get out the words "Thank you" ,as the lady walks away.
The adventurers finish their treats and with their fabulous hats leave to trudge back home. Their mother has a long walk back to think about how she shouldn't judge before she knows what is going on and more importantly....how she should never justify to anyone the joy and happiness of her two curly haired boys.