My husband and I took the kids to a Parade while we were on vacation, with the expectation of seeing a few floats, and the police motorcade and maybe the bagpipes—30 minutes tops!! Just so you know we went in to this with some “real” expectations—and came out of it with a great new reality—
Autism and parades don’t mix!!!
The sweetest thing happened amidst the full blown tantrum Justin had after we had walked 1 mile from the closest parking spot just to catch a glimpse. As he was screaming, my husband tried everything to help calm him down and nothing was working. The iPhone??—not good enough. Riding on dad’s shoulders??—child’s play, not good enough!! So we resorted to putting him in the stroller (which just in case you think that is ridiculous, it has actually worked really well in the past)—NOT TODAY!!! He was really mad. My husband was trying to put him in the stroller, which I’m sure looked like we were stuffing him in the stroller to everyone else watching as he wriggled back and forth, and both my husband and I went into our “we-have-to-be-calm-or-we-are-all-going-to-fall-apart-together” mode. It was not going well, and I was holding my baby girl since Justin needed to sit in her seat, and then all of a sudden this older woman who was watching the parade jumped up and started walking towards us. I didn’t notice her at first, since I was in the zone, until she got closer and I looked up at her and saw her concerned smile as she came towards me with outstretched arms and said, “Can I please hold your baby for you?” I immediately gave her my baby girl and said, “He has Autism, and he is not happy!” She smiled and said, “I figured he did.” Shortly after we got Justin in, still screaming, and I took my baby girl back and said thanks and we left to walk back to the car. Justin did calm down and enjoy his sweet ride for the mile back to the car:)
As bad as tantrums in public can feel sometimes, I am always so touched by the courage of others to lend a hand to a stranger. I honestly think I would hesitate if I saw some parents dealing with a tantruming child—I think I would be scared that they would tell me to mind my own business or something!! I have had people offer to help with Justin more than once and it is so moving to feel God’s love for me at that exact trying moment—through someone else. I hope that I can be that kind of answer to someone else’s prayers, and act that quickly when my Father in Heaven needs me to.