Last night the monkey slept great. And this morning he was in such a good mood. He was happy as he was getting ready to go to school. Since he was doing so good, my husband asked if it’d be okay if he left a little early, he had to go to Walmart on his way to work. I told him we will be okay getting on the bus. (The reason he asks is because when the monkey gets upset, sometimes he’s too strong for me to handle.)
But kids that are on the spectrum, like my son, are unpredictable. Sometimes any little trigger can change his mood. He can go from level one to ten in a split second.
When my husband left, the monkey wanted to go upstairs. I told him no, since the bus was almost here. I told him he was not allowed and needed to stay downstairs and wait. And as soon as I said no, he lunged at me. He pulled my hair and he would not let go. I was trying so hard get him to release my hair, but his hands were so tangled on my hair and it was just very difficult.
After a while of me fighting him off, he eventually let go. As soon as he did, I put his hands on his side and I scolded him. In a very firm voice I told him he is not allowed to hurt people that love him. He is not allowed to place his hands on anyone to hurt them. You’re not allowed to hurt mommy or anybody else.
And in that instant, it was as if something clicked inside him. He went from the level 10 to a one in seconds. As if this understanding swept over him and he knew he had done wrong. He put his face down and he looked embarrassed. Then he threw himself at me to hug me, his way of asking for forgiveness. He kept giving me kisses and looking at my eyes. As if to say, “Have you forgiven me yet?” This is such an amazing task for a child like my son. He not only understood he had done wrong, but in an instant, he knew he had to try to make it right.
After that the bus arrived. As we are walking towards the bus, the bus driver tells my son, “So what is your preference? Is it the Washington Post or the New York times?” And he shows him the ads from the newspaper that he had brought. Then the bus monitor says, “He prefers Albertsons.” The bus driver looks for the Albertsons ad and gives it to my son. My son walks over to his seat, happy as a clam, ready to read the ads.
And I’m in shock. How do they know this about my son? So, I asked them. The bus driver tells me, “Oh, your parents told us. I needed to make sure I bring him his newspaper every morning, so he has a nice ride to school.”
How do you thank someone for this? Such a small gesture but so big for us. How does one thank someone for seeing past my son’s many meltdowns and many difficult days? For seeing him, understanding him, and making sure he is okay. The bus driver woke up thinking of my son and put a little extra effort in making sure he had a nice drive to school.
And how does one thank them for loving my son?
This day was off to a rough start yet it ended with my son on his way to school, reading his favorite newspaper, due to a simple act of kindness. ❤️