I am sure I have mentioned many times in my blog, (and to a couple of you in person ;) how exhausting, stressful, and downright aging it is parenting a child like my son. There are times I admit, when I wake up in the morning and a sense of dread comes over me. That's when I pray for strength and courage for whatever the day entails. Yet, often I can overlook the joys that are right under my nose. Just this week on facebook I posted, It is a fortunate thing my son is so darn funny... sometimes it's the honest truth. I will be asked the same thing for the millionth time...I will feel like I am about to pull every strand of hair out of my head...and he will say something UTTERLY hilarious. I'm talking comedian hilarious. He has saved himself my wrath (wrath=me yelling) on many occasion simply by making me (or his dad) laugh. There are so many things he does (positive things) that go unnoticed at the time by me and the hubby because we are simply trying to get to the next task of the day. Almost like checking the square.
Grocery shopping is one such thing. I'm embarrassed to admit this. We go to the grocery store every single day. (I really should do better meal planning for the week!) Fortunately for us, despite A~man's Prader-Willi Syndrome, he has always done exceptional in the grocery store. For him it is a social time. With each department; produce, deli, meats, dairy, he knows at least one and often two of the workers. The thing is he wants to have lengthy chats with each person. I do not particularly like to shop (you would think I would do better meal planning then huh?) and I want to get what we need and get out. This isn't at just one grocery store I should add,hehe, this is at two where he knows so many employees. They LOVE him. One grocery store employs people with disabilities. He knows them all. One young man with Down Syndrome often will come up and either hug A~man or give him a high five. If one employee is not there he will inquire about where they are. He remembers the most particular details about each person. He makes all of them feel special and important. One manager has even promised him a job one day. (PWS and working at a grocery store is probably not a good mix though)
On to my story...today Z~girl and hubby went to the store together and A~man and I were at home doing some school work. Someone came up behind hubby and hugged him from behind. (I should mention this someone is close to 7 foot tall) He turned around and it was someone that used to work at the store. Probably about 5 months ago he had gotten a blood clot in his leg and he is no longer able to work. (he's just a bit older than I am) The man had tears in his eyes. He said to tell A~man how much he appreciated him asking and praying for him. He has a son and daughter who also work there and almost every day A~man would ask about "B". He would also write him notes and send him gum and M&M's for them to bring home to their dad. THIS MAN WAS IN TEARS! Have I ever brought someone to tears? Probably not in a good way.
So many times when we are out and about I am rushing. I am shushhing him. I do not want to talk to everyone in the store I want to GO HOME. But my little buddy beside me is showing people the type of love and compassion that God wants us to show to one another. He is making people feel special and giving them the time of day when most people are probably like me and walk right on by people. Heck, I'm terrible about getting lost in the little world in my head and walking past people I know! I need to to slow down, see people, and show even a portion of the same love my son shows. With our lifestyle does it really matter whether it takes 10 minutes to shop or 20 minutes? No, most of the time when we shop it's the end of he day with no more appointments or activities.
Lastly, with A~man having his PWS and often autistic quirkiness, I wonder..... If he did not in fact have those challenges...would he still be awesome like that? I think that particular awesomeness he has, making people feel special, and caring, I honestly think it is a characteristic of his disability. A characteristic that I need to learn from.