On our way to school yesterday, time was our side, so I decided to stop for donuts for Darus’ teachers. I suffered a major special needs’ #momfail by not telling Darus what we were doing (verbally telling him, multiple times, if there’s a change in our routine can sometime help him with the transition). I parked the car and got him out.
Almost immediately his face turned to panic mode (“this isn’t school” - is what he would have said, if he could talk) and he dropped his 75 pound body to the ground in the parking lot. Fuck.
I chose to not abort the mission but instead had to nearly drag him into the donut shop. (His teacher thinks - and I agree - he shouldn’t be so rigid and needs to learn to be ok with change.) We stood - ok I was actually kneeling next to him - in line waiting for our turn. Darus was crying and visibly upset. I kept telling him, “we’re here to buy donuts for your teachers”, “everything is ok”, “we’ll go to school right after this”.
I wanted to cry and scream simultaneously. At that moment, a person standing in line (😇) cautiously approached us and kindly asked if she could place the order for us and bring it out to our car. I was so thankful! As much as I was trying to teach Darus flexibility and patience, I think the lesson was going south quick. I handed her some cash and asked her to get a dozen assorted donuts.
I then took Darus outside and struggled to get him back in the car. He was, once again, confused by this change to his routine. I finally got him back in his carseat and the gal came out with our donuts AND my cash. She paid for our donuts. She said, “these donuts are on me, thank his teachers from me”. Tears burst into my eyes. The kindness of strangers! 💜💚 I was so surprised by her gesture I didn’t think to ask for her name nor did I share any information about Darus’ condition and why it was such a struggle for him. I’m sharing the story here in hopes that it inspires others to #bekind #strongertogether #phelanmcdermidsyndrome#nonverbal #autism #ilovela #happychanukah#nomoore
(picture of Darus, happily on his way to school)