This comment from the “On Engagement” post was so beautiful I wanted to share it. Her daughter is also named Emma.
“I love your Utopian world. I wish it existed. I avoid going to events sometimes because I just don’t want to have to have Emma deal with the looks, or me at times. Her tantrums are nothing like that of a two year old either. She is eight, and carrying an eight year old out of a store spitting and biting and screaming in a piercing , gut wrenching manner gets many looks. One time Emma lost it in a fabric store. I should have known better because it is overstimulating. She loves textures, but does horrible in overstimulating environments. Anyway, it ended abruptly when I had to take her screaming and kicking out of the store. I held onto her for dear life, wishing I had parked closer, hoping no one would see me. I almost accomplished this endeavor when a woman started approaching me as I was desperately getting Emma to buckle her seat belt. I was sure she was coming over to tell me what a horrible mom I was, how social services should be called on me because it felt so violent as I held onto Emma and I imagined it looked violent as well. But instead, she came over and asked if she could hug me. She told me her son was autistic and has been a participant in much worse tantrums and just wanted me to know I was loved. I felt an angel had been sent to me. What a world of difference it would make if people were less worried about judging others and more concerned about helping others. A smile to a parent that is in need can make such a difference. We are all mothers, or daughters, or fathers, or sons. That is something that binds us all. Why not honor that in our daily encounters and help a struggling parent, not shun her, and refrain from assuming.”
For more on autism and Emma’s journey through a childhood of it, go to: www.Emma’s Hope Book.com
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I hope today brings smiles and laughter and love, and a little respite from the daily struggles and never ending work you do for your daughter, your family.