Big Man’s birthday is tomorrow. SIXTEEN!! I’m still trying to wrap my momma brain around that. Given our insane schedules, and the fact we will be at the high school football field tomorrow night watching the Princess cheer, and that there’s dance tonight, we went out to dinner last night to celebrate the birthday milestone.
We went to a restaurant we frequent rather regularly. There was a middle school band performing in the courtyard just outside, and the place was packed. The host was suggesting people order take-out, as the wait was an hour long. We, however, had a party of seven, requiring one of the big tables, and one of those big tables had just been vacated. We were seated immediately.
Now, dinner out with Little Man typically requires some sort of technology to keep him focused and to minimize the effects of all the sensory input. He was playing some game on his phone – I have no idea what. The band outside took an intermission, and some of the students wandered in to get food from their family members. All of the sudden, there was a boy standing at Little Man’s shoulder, just watching him play the game. He didn’t say a word, and it took a minute for Little Man to notice him standing there.
I won’t lie – it was awkward. I mean this kid was right in Little Man’s personal space. Big Man was sitting across the table and was trying hard not to laugh, it was that awkward. The Princess, sitting right next to Little Man, was a bit freaked out.
I knew right away this boy was just like him. Sometimes, you just know. I did find myself giggling a little bit, because, well, awkward. But my heart just opened. If there’s one thing having an autistic kid has taught me, it’s to be more patient and definitely more accepting.
The boy eventually wandered off. Later, I saw him with his mom. She looked at our table, and I wondered if she’d seen him earlier, hovering at Little Man’s shoulder. I just smiled and nodded my head – one of those, I see you and I know you moments.
When Little Man has his moments out in public, or when he sees something that interests him and he creates an awkward moment, I pray there’s someone there who gets it, that there might be a mom who sees my boy is just like her boy. I pray she will nod her head and smile with that I-see-you-and-I-know-you look.