So last night I stopped at the same gas station that I stop at every Saturday and Sunday night after work and go into countless days out of the week. I see the same attendant, a nice lady that giggles at my choice in purchases, apple juice and a slim jim and we chat a little and I move on about my way. So last night something remarkable happened, I think it’s remarkable. I was wearing this T-shirt:
Of course I wear this shirt often, but she looked at me and said, “You need all the help you can get. I applaud you.” So why is this profound? Normally when people see me in this shirt, they apologize to me as if they had something to do with my children’s diagnosis. They don’t realize that not all people want an apology for the cards that were dealt. I responded to her “Yes I do.” I believe I made a joke about tequila, it was after midnight and I was just trying to get home.
So many times a day, I find myself in situations where people ask me about my children and I proudly tell them about how my children are doing and what they are doing and how smart they are, then some people realistically don’t ask at all. The numbers now are 1 in 68. If your life has not been touched by it yet, it will be. Now with the data moving forward about so many different things going on inside the brains of our children, I am hoping that one day we can help children that show signs early. I know that this might not help my children now, but I have often wonder, if they had the opportunity to be cured, would they want it and of course I asked my son and daughter and they both said no for varying reasons. My son said “Normal is boring.” My daughter said “I’m good.” This makes me feel like I’ve been on the right path focusing on how to help them adapt instead of focusing on what caused it.
This is my post for today. People in the most unusual places say the things that make you think about how people see parents like myself and our kids. This young woman looked at me with a different set of eyes last night. A set of eye that if I had not of had on the shirt, she would not have known. She would not have known what was going on in my world. I would have just been another stranger walking into her store which brings me to the thought process that sometimes I don’t have to be the person spreading the awareness, others spread the awareness to me that they understand the struggle.