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.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"I just can't take the stares"

Have to post this because it just happened to me.

Walking around Target with my mom (who is visiting us) and Little Bird (who is "off"). We were done there and walking toward the exit. I could hear a kid screaming from quite a bit away. A part of me thought, "ha! even 'normal' kids scream!!" Then, I saw the woman walking toward me with the little boy in the shopping cart. He was screaming his head off and she remained pretty calm and just walked along like she was trying to ignore him. As she got closer, we made eye contact. I was going to say to her in passing, "I get it. We've all been there," which I've said to other mothers in that situation. Sometimes you just need to know that you're not alone and that sometimes kids scream. But before I could, she shrugged her shoulders and she said to me, "He has Autism and he screams." I told her, "I get it. We have it, too." Then she told me that she hates how people stare and that she usually doesn't take him out like this. "I just can't take the stares." Then she said the worst part: "I have 4 kids. 3 of them have it." My heart sank and I got teary. I had to run after the bird and she was trying to find her daughter in the store so she could get the hell out of there. I wanted to hug her and to commiserate longer, but Autism doesn't give us much time for that. All I could say was, "I really get it." And I do.

15 comments:

Heather said...

:(

At least you were there to make her feel not so alone.....that can mean so much sometimes.

Adoption of Jane said...

Been there!! My 3 1/2 son has Autism. Hopefully you will see her again and get a chance to exchange numbers. I've gotten really close to a lady whose son is in my son's Autism Class. We do playdates, attend Autism events together, but most of all we Whine, Complain, & Bitch to each other. It's very theraputic, none of our other friends get it. Acutally 80% of our time is spent being the strong Autism Mom Warrior.. but that 20% when nobody is around we complain and exchange stories and feel validated by each other when we are done.

Dani G said...

You are both so right. We MUST stick together!

Jane, your 80/20 is pretty right on!!

Pua said...

:( My niece and nephew have Autism and I sometimes suspect my daughter may as well. The fits can be the worst. *hugs* That's all I can really think of saying.

hotpants™ said...

Wow. I did not know it was common to have multiple children with Autism. I can't imagine.

I'm stopping by from SITS to say hello.

jumblyMummy said...

Came over here from Blog Gems. It really goes to show that you can feel like you're suffering alone in your own difficult world but there are others out there suffering too. Shame you didn't have more time to bond over a shared experience.

Becca said...

I'm glad you were able to give the other mother a moment's comfort.

danette said...

Here from Blog Gems.

It's too bad ya'll didn't have more time to visit :/. But you probably made her day just with your kind comment letting her know she's not alone. I have three on the spectrum too and mostly ignore the stares but I know a comment like yours would have made my day :).

JennieB said...

I wasn't sure I could handle one child with autism, but I guess we just do. I'm thankful my second is typical, but she'll have her own issues and we'll deal with those too.

We so rarely make connections with people, it's nice to have those opportunities, even if they are just for a minute.

Cheryl D. said...

Those are the kindest words you can say! It makes a world of difference! Once, my daughter was having an enormous tantrum at a restaurant. We left, and as I was struggling to get her in her car seat (she was 2 at the time), a woman approached me and said the nicest words ever, "Can I help?" I told her that she really couldn't, but that the offer was amazingly sweet.

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

That look you gave her, and those words, would have made her feel so much better. Visiting from Blog Gems.

Bella @ If This is Motherhood said...

Ya know. I have a difficult time seeing why you get stares. My kids are not autistic and believe me they have their days. Actually, I try not to take them with me too. It is just too much for me to chase a preschooler with sensory issues and a gifted 8 year old with...well I don't know what his issue is yet, but I am SURE he has one LOL.

Anyway, rest assured. I am never one of those people staring because no matter what your child deals with, mine have their days too. I know that and I am mom enough to admit it.

Apples and Autobots said...

Boy, haven't we all been there. Every time I see a mom with a screaming kid, I wonder if she's one of "US". The thing is, I never ask, because you never know if the kid is diagnosed or if you're going to be seen as nosey or offensive. We're a sensitive bunch, aren't we?

fiona2107 said...

oh wow, thats a very familiar outing for me too!
I have 3 kids, 2 diagnosed with autism and the other one displays a LOT of aspergers tendencies as well :)
It's a tough call parenting our kiddos but with other blogger mum's I like you , it doesn't feel so lonely!
I'mn here from blog gems and I'll definitely be back!
Fi x

@jencull said...

familiar for me too, that connection that is relief at meeting someone who knows and the sadness at the same time. Thanks for joining in Blog Gems. Jen

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