I saw your little boy’s feet first. Under the metal side panel of the restroom stall. I noticed him because my little boy’s feet were on my side.
I heard him go to wash his hands and I soon followed with my own son.
The first thing I noticed was his delightful red hair and wide eyes. While I helped my little blonde wash his hands I saw you keep a restraining hand on your own child’s arm.
There was an aura about you that seemed familiar and when I looked a bit closer …from the corner of my eye…I saw the comfy thick sweat pants and uncomplicated soft tshirt on your child. No coat even if it was cold outside.
I headed to dry my hands and you had already cranked out paper towels for me. Plenty of them. Before I could stop my own son he had thrust his hands into the super sonic loud hand dryer and at the same time I heard your child start squealing and jumping and I heard you say ” I know. You don’t Like that noise.”
I grabbed my own son and the terrifying noise stopped and so did your sons squeals.
I turned to face you and saw in your eyes the exhaustion and pain and constant battle of life and I knew your child was extra special.
I apologized for the loud noise and said I understood and above my own child’s crying at having to stop the dryer I wanted to tell you to keep on.
To keep choosing comfort for your son over cute jeans. To choose a dash in a tshirt through the cold over the battle of a coat and its textures that cause meltdowns. To keep using your two word instructions like “hands up” instead of my long ” don’t touch the toilet ring please.” To keep cranking out towels for people in hopes they won’t use the super sonic dryer.
I didn’t ask you but I think I know because I have done bathroom marathons before in slightly different situations.
Your beautiful son is autistic.
And you are doing a wonderful job!