Sunday, July 12, 2015

Autism Answer: It's Not About Taking Sides

I headed excitedly to the back of our trailer home where my son sleeps. Shay was alone in his room, writing in his journal and listening to music. I knocked, opened the door without waiting for a response and exclaimed, "I'm babysitting The Little Lady today!"

He looked up and, being the hugest fan of babies, grinned and clapped and asked, "Are they here yet?"

I admitted that they weren't. But he got up and came out of the room and walked outside with me, hoping to make them appear with our excitement. While we tried to manifest the appearance of The Little Lady and Her Mom, Shay said something perfect. 

"You know what's good, mom? The Little Lady is my brother's ex-girlfriend's baby, and Her Mom hasn't been dating my brother in years, but we all stay friends." He reflected for a moment and added, "We love The Little Lady and Her Mom, actually. Because with our family it's not about taking sides."

I scratched his back and nodded in agreement. 

We waited for a few more minutes. Then I got a text that it would still be another hour before The Little Lady and Her Mom showed up, so we headed indoors, seeking air-conditioning and distractions. 

As we walked in my other son, Declyn, came out of his room and looked around. "Are they here yet?" he asked. 

"Not yet, soon." I answered. 

"Well, I was going to ask for a ride to my friend's house but I changed my mind. You must be so excited to see The Little Lady, I just want to let you have that fun for today. I'll go to my friend's house tomorrow." He gave me a pat on the shoulder and headed back to the black hole of anime, video games, and fantasy/sci-fi series books that is his room. 

Finally, The Little Lady and Her Mom showed up. I only babysat for a few minutes, long enough to laugh at the chickens next door and to share a Popsicle. Her Mom and I chatted a bit and shared mom thoughts. Then she headed home. 

It was lovely. And, Shay was right. My son's ex-girlfriend brought her baby over and gave me the gift of loving and playing with her. I had that gift because in our family (and in The Little Lady's family) it's not about taking sides. 

It's about loving people and helping out when we can. It's about knowing when we can't or shouldn't reach out and creating a story of inclusion to explain it rather than a story of sides or dualities.

It's not about taking sides. 

Unless you're talking about the side of love and humanity. 

I'll take that side, with a Popsicle please!
tee hee!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)

The Little Lady and Me!