Today the monkey was asking us to get him some chicken nuggets. This is nothing out of the ordinary. Except this time we went to a different place, where he saw a lot of commotion while we were driving by. He became curious and was trying to get out of the car. So my husband said let’s be adventurous. He’s been doing so well maybe he’ll be okay inside their playground.
As we are getting out of the car, my husband puts the monkey on his shoulder. This typically helps in making my son feel safe. This is especially true in an environment where he has not been before, where there’s a lot of kids, and the noise is through the roof.
As we are walking inside the restaurant, our minds were preoccupied with how my son would do. As we are going inside someone calls out my husband’s name. We turn around and we see one of his relatives. We haven’t seen him in a while. It was a nice surprise. I say hi to him. We see his kids, two boys and a baby girl, and we meet his wife. We ask them how the kids are doing what are their names, their ages. There’s a 6-year-old, a 4-year-old, and the babies who is a few months old. We’re talking about how he’s doing and what a sweet family he has. The wife is very pleasant and is answering our questions. They both start talking about their kids, what they are good at, what they like, etc.
As we say our good byes and nice to meet yous, we move towards the restaurant, my husband turns and looks at me and asked me, “Did you notice that? Did you notice that not once did they look at our son? They didn’t ask for his name, or how old he is, or anything about him? They never acknowledged him.”
And this is such a difficult struggle when the world doesn’t see my son. It’s extremely heartbreaking. I am unsure how to explain the depth of sadness that envelopes me. My son was on my husband’s shoulders. He is a big boy. He’s almost 8 years old. He makes a lot of noises. He moves his hands a lot and makes a bunch of gestures. He is not easy to ignore it.
So why do that?
Why completely ignore him and not acknowledge him?
Is it because people are uncomfortable and don’t know how to address him? Is it because they don’t know how to react? Or is it simply because people are just thinking of their own life?
I honesty struggle with this so much.
This is one of those things that just eats me and keeps me up at night. Why is it that special needs kids and adults can’t get something a simple as a Hi? A hello?
I saw this meme in a special needs blog and it said, “Instead of saying do not stare, how about tell your kids to say hi.”
This is not a unique concept. Just say hi. I just cannot understand why this is so hard?
Maybe I’m just overreacting.
Maybe I’m just too sensitive today.
Maybe I should just forget this and appreciate the blessings that I do have.
But my monkey saw me. He could feel my pain.
And as we are at home, our safe place, my son is sitting on his desk drawing away. He turns and looks at me, and hands me his drawing.
I could swear they are flowers. I think he gave me flowers.
To mend my broken heart. ❤️