A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Shedding some light

So, I'm in a long line at Whole Foods, picking up a couple grapefruit (my current obsesh), when a woman two people in front of me gives me a look and goes, "it's so bad!" I figured she was complaining about the check-out girl's speed or someone in front of her writing a check (who writes checks at a grocery store anymore, btw?). She obv noticed that I didn't know what she was referring to and said "that noise- she must have some kind of disorder." Then I heard it. From across a few lanes, I could hear a chirping noise, but I couldn't spot its source. The lady in front of me asked, "Are you two together?" I answered, "no, I have no idea why she just started talking to me." And I didn't. But then, the second lady picked up where the other conversation had left off and said "that girl must have some kind of disability to be making that noise. It's awful. Maybe she is Autistic or something." It was my turn to talk, but I didn't really want to engage, so I just shrugged my shoulders and said "hmmm, maybe." I didn't say that yes, it could be Autism, or any other disorder that causes verbal tics like Tourette Syndrome or Sensory Processing Disorder, or something else. But in the back of my mind I was thinking, it's Autism Awareness month and here's a chance to educate someone. That's when she kinda mumbled "Seems like a lot of kids have Autism these days. I'm glad I don't have that. I've got enough problems..." So, I said "Well yes, 1 in 100 or so kids in the U.S. has Autism." She was impressed and asked me if I study this stuff. I kinda giggled and said "My daughter has an Autism Spectrum Disorder."  And then- no joke- she started crying. CRYING!!!

I think the crying was because she felt bad for saying "Thank G-d I don't have Autism in my life" and then I was like "I do! I do!" She apologized for saying it. I told her it wasn't a big deal. I had felt that way a million times before I knew I had it in my life. Look, I still think it a million times about other things.... having a feeling like that isn't a bad thing; it's really a kind of gratitude. I am so grateful that my kid doesn't have a bunch of other things. My little girl is healthy, happy, so loving and sweet, makes an amazing difference in the lives of others.... I could keep going with things I am grateful for. 

This lady wanted to keep talking to me- and she did!! Another lane opened up and I switched- and she KEPT talking to me!! She even followed me out of the store to keep asking questions about Autism. I answered them to the best of my ability. Then I got in my car, drove home, and took Little Bird to the library. After that, we went to Target where my kid refused to sit in the cart and then ran all around the store, playing with loads of toys, saying hi to random customers, and having fun. Doesn't sound that weird, right? Well, today has been a good day for her- and for me. After all, I helped bring awareness about Autism to a stranger today!


lori b said...


Anonymous said...

you go girl! maggie

lori b said...

omg....i forgot to tell you. i had a very bizarre obsession with grapefruit a while back! i neeeeeded them like a "fix". i would cut them in slices like you would cut an orange, and suck the juice out. it was sooooo good and soooo refreshing! but then i gave them up because i read that it interfered with my chemo treatments or meds or something like that. but now im kind craving it again. maybe we can go to plum one day and have a grapefruit party!!!!

lori b said...

it always amazes me how people just "talk" and dont THINK how others around them might feel about what they are "talking" about. you never know who is there or what they have going on in their lives. and btw...remind me to tell you my story about how that happened to me at rubys balm. seriously...remind me. its a good one! :)

Salt said...

Happy Sharefest! I'm so glad I found your blog. Your daughter is adorable.

I agree with the poster above me. It's amazing that people don't think before they speak. Sure I'm sure she didn't that the chances were so good that she could be talking to someone who had an autism related disorder in their lives, but really. I think you taught her more than one lesson that day!

Lizzie said...

I am glad you were able to educate her. I imagine some days it is easier to do than others. Stopped by from SITS, Happy Saturday!

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