Thursday, December 27, 2012

that's MY son....

One of the reasons I titled my blog "Who's learning? Who's teaching?" is because despite my sons challenges, daily I see the way strangers, acquaintances and friends react to A~man. I always say I can tell a lot about someone's character by their reaction. Also, sometimes I wonder how I would  react to him if he wasn't my son. The boy is engagingly quirky.

Today we went to the pool as it has been too cold to walk and I have messed my heel up too much to use the exercise room at the gym. This is fine with the kids though as they love to swim! For the most part hubby and I can go in the warm therapy pool and use the weights...and swim, while the kids swim laps in the big pool. The one issue we have is that A~man loves to stare. The reasons why vary; someones's pretty, they are very old, they are very heavy, they have an injury....the list goes on and one but it's something we are constantly working on with him. When he was little and did this it wasn't as big of a deal but he is a teenager now and I'm sure it can make people uncomfortable.

While we were in the pool an older lady who obviously wanted some conversation started talking to us. She had shattered her ankle at work and did therapy in the pool. We found out she was a teacher in a public school and taught middle school students that had severe/profound disabilities. I was happy to discover no negative comments when we told her we homeschooled our kids. (it was awhile before she knew we had a child with special needs) This lady was a talker and finally we told her that our son has autism and Prader-willi syndrome. I was surprised she knew what PWS was as most do not. I guess she had children with PWS in her classroom before. Finally she met A~man and I could tell she was enchanted by him and they had a very nice conversation.

Later, after Z~girl and I showered and dressed we went to turn our locker keys in and ended up behind two ladies (probably 10 years older than me), one of which looked familiar. They were talking about someone and I heard "the young man in the blue baseball cap". Hubby and A~man had gotten dressed before us so I looked over to remember which hat A was wearing. It was HIM they were talking about. I cannot remember exactly what they were talking about BUT it wasn't necessarily good. (not necessarily bad either) I believe it was due to him staring at them as he remembered one of them from a HUGE (HUGE) church we used to go to.

They soon discovered that they were standing in front of the mother of the child they were talking about as A~man made a beeline for me when he saw me. I can read the boys mind don't ya  know...he thought because I was standing in back of the ladies he was staring at it would of course give him the opportunity to talk to them. It was all very awkward to say the least. One of the ladies was in an Easter play years ago and A~man wanted the phone number of the man who played Jesus. (who in real life is a very nice doctor) The man looks so much like "pictures" of Jesus that in A~man's mind I think he truly thinks the man is Jesus. Obviously he isn't and you can see it was just plain awkward and incredibly uncomfortable. LOL

After the very nice experience with the older lady in the pool this really dashed my spirits with the attitudes of these other ladies. Honestly, they didn't say anything real bad about my son...if they would have I would have spoken up. The look on their faces realizing I had heard what they said was enough.  ;)

But seriously. How would I have reacted to someone like my son if he wasn't my son? I have known and worked with many kids and adults with autism over the last 20+ years. Each one of them has taught me something. Something about tolerance and understanding. Even with all of my son's challenges I think that is one of HIS purposes in life. To teach me, to teach his dad, his sister, and to teach even complete strangers to be patient and tolerant of his differences.

I truly think this boy teaches all of us far more than we will ever teach him!!

Here is a figurine I have that TOTALLY reminds me of my dear sweet boy who has a heart of gold. 


  1. I totally related to this post! Even though my son is still little...I always watch how people respond to him. We had something happen recently with "church people" that tore my heart to pieces. I'm never really sure what to do with those emotions. But your perspective helped. Maybe his role is to help open others up to the beauty of those that are different... And maybe mine isn't to tiger mommy attack them all! ;)


  2. You shouldn't share stories like this. Because while you are a nice, sane mama-bear, it makes me wanna kick some booty. ;) Love that A-man!!!!