Yesterday was the 10th Annual Autism Walk/Run. We had been planning for this event for some time. My husband’s students volunteered during their spring break to promote the race. They also volunteered Thursday evening to assist me in sorting out over 200 shirts. As tired as we all were, we arrived to the race extra early.
We knew it would be tough for the monkey. All the people, the noise, the morning sun, yeah, it would be tough. But I prepared myself. I took his ipad, his favorite snacks, his favorite drink, his blankets, and his wagon. 5K wouldn’t be as bad… I’d hope.
However, I couldn’t find his backpack before the race. With all of the commotion going on, we didn’t know where we left it. So we started the race without my essentials.
The monkey started getting antsy right away. We were in the back of the line, where there was not many people. We figured the less noise would help. But the police officers were there, making sure the traffic was stopping when needed. The noise and lights of the officers were a large distraction.
And without his Ipad, it was just a matter of time.
As we reached the halfway mark, the monkey had a meltdown. He was done. He got out of the wagon and took off. My husband ran after him and told us to keep going. He didn’t want us holding up the line. The race was in Downtown. The monkey had his meltdown in front of a transition home for homeless people. When the monkey took off, he ran into an alley where there were about 10 homeless men sitting.
My husband says that the monkey wanted to get away from him so bad that he ran up to a homeless man and hugged him. My husband was struggling to yank my son from this homeless man.
And this is autism. It is unpredictable. It is unexpected.
But it also brings out the beauty in people.
The homeless man was worried about our monkey. He kept asking him “Are you okay buddy?” The rest of the men were concerned as well.
So here we are. With a few men, who are down on their luck, worried about my six year old son. And when I step back and think about this, it makes me see the beauty of what this world offers. For these men to be concerned, not for their well-being, but for a complete stranger and his son. And this just fills my heart with love. Because if these men can be caring enough in their situation, shouldn’t we all be?
Shouldn’t we all be a little bit more understanding? Patient? Caring?
Unfortunately, my son scratched my husband’s neck really bad. And that part does hurt. Seeing the marks that my monkey did. We knew he would struggle today, but we knew this walk was for awareness, which is extremely important for our future. We knew this could happen.
But eventually we did make it to the finish line, way after everyone else did. But the joy was seeing all of our family and friends, waiting for us.
After that we went to the park with some of the students, family and friends. We ordered drinks and pizza. And my son was much happier then. He even let me take a few selfies with him. ❤️❤️