Saturday, December 28, 2013

Autism Answer: Another Fun Addition To My Life "Reel"

The young mom with three young kids sitting behind us on the Greyhound bus was really struggling. Her four year old son, the middle in age, was quite intense and defiant. He reminded me a lot of my two oldest boys when they were small!

At each stop people would try to switch seats, picking ones farther from this group of noisy troublemakers that once-upon-a-time could have (sort of) been my own.

Early on in the trip I chose a seat right in front of her and suggested my sons sit kitty-corner. For the next thirteen hours her kids climbed on me, sang with me, played super hero finger games with me, looked for magic in the scenery with me, and more!

Did it occur to me that others on the bus might notice my helpful, accepting attitude and shift their own? A little.

Did I hope the exhausted and trying to parent more for the sake of bus-mates than her children mom would get a break and regroup? Stop spanking and start playing? Kind of.

Did I imagine that the children and their mom would begin to have a fond memory of their Christmas Greyhound journey to California rather than an ugly, uncomfortable, and confusing trip? You bet.

Did I do it for any of these reasons? Nope.

I played, sang, sacrificed sleep and work, even some quality time with my own kids, because I wanted to enjoy my Greyhound Christmas journey to California. That wasn't very likely to be easy if I spent it judging, feeling sorry for, or attempting to drown out the struggling young family. We were in each others world, so I chose to play an active, helpful role.

For the last six hours of our trip to California, they were on a different bus than ours. At first I was relieved, then I was missing them. Today--five days after our Greyhound bus adventure-- I have a fond memory of my playful role, and of my boys watching the kids love me. Our Greyhound California journey was a fun success!

We're all here together, picking our roles. 

I think I've accumulated a fabulous "reel" of pretty sweet roles!!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!

Autism Answers