Show and Tell

I was tempted to tell after a “show” at the library. We had a full bag of books and had started to explore the new props for playing. Goldi found a magical cape and wand. She immediatly readied herself for some happy play. She set the wand down on the table and dressed herself in a shiny pink gown. Immediately a wandering boy found delight in the same magic wand. He picked it up and began to wave it.
“That’s mine!” Goldi shrieked “Give it back!”
Her shrieking echoed all across the library. The crying followed. The boy’s mom and I whispered sweet nothings and directions from the sidelines of the playing field. Goldi and the boy resumed pretending and things were well.

But all was not well. I was soon approached by the ultimate librarian. She fit the part. Her hair was pulled back and gray. She had the perfect reading glasses. She spoke in a very stern and shushy kind of voice.
“Is everything okay over here? There’s been some complaints,” she told me.
“We are fine now thank you.” I said beginning to grow flushed.
“Well, the exit is that way otherwise, there is the family restroom right there. ” she said.
As she walked away, I saw a floating bubble trailing behind her. It read “The exit is that way.”

One Oven Hot Summer Day, the kids and I had a “Cool” idea. Go to the grocery store and get some essentials: pizza, popsicles, and juice boxes. We are comfortable in our cozy store. We know our way around well. Soon we had 2 out of three.
“And now, for the last really cool thing…. POPSICLES” I said in my game show voice.
“Yeah! Popsicles! ” Goldi exclaimed even louder. “They are fantastic!” she shouted clapping, flapping, and jumping.
“Watch it you’re gonna hurt someone!: shouted an old woman. Do you have to be so loud?” she said looking directly at Goldi. “That really hurts my ears!” she shrieked. She was wrinkled all over. Her hair was uncombed. Her frown was longer than a basset hound’s. Watching her turn the corner, there was another floating bubble. It read “Your’e too loud and too wild.”

I just stood there in the frozen section, shivering. Her ice cold remarks pricked me to tears. Slowly I was able to thaw out and move.
“Come on kids,” I said. “Some people don’t like popsicles.” I was so tempted to find that old woman and tell her.

Sometimes it’s not a big “show” but it is enough of a show to be tempted to tell. Out there, in the world of norms, molds, and blending in, Goldi is on show. Where there is a show, I feel the need to follow up with some telling. At times, I am angry and I feel the need to come up with some “one liners” to really sock it to the ignorance of the clueless person. At times, I feel the need to educate the ignorant and make them aware.

There are days in life, when Goldi’s autism does not show up huge. She doesn’t stick out too much. Many a time, among friends, I have heard “You never would know she has autism.” A reminder to just get on with life. Because sometimes, I do forget there could be a show that requires some kind of telling. Sometimes, I forget “Oh yeah” Goldi has autism. So I take her to the store, the library, the post offfice, and a restaurant.

Then again, some days, it is all too plain. Goldi has austism. Some days, are a combination of meltdown and tantrum. Some days are overwhelmingly a real slap in the face “She’s got autism!” So I don’t take her to the library, the post office, the grocery store, or the restaurant.

“She’s got autism Miss Librarian. She’s just learning to take turns and play with actual things. She’s come a long way and she actually overcame this particular obstacle pretty well.”

“She’s got austism old lady clutching your grocery list. She gets excited about little things and she might flap her wings like she’s going to fly because that is the kind of “fly high excitement” she feels even over something as simple as a popsicle!”

There might be a show so I might have to tell. Truth be told I could silence a person’s rudeness. An appology could be given. An awareness might be gained. Others might behave differently. Truth be told, Goldi has autism. The speech bubble floating behind me says “The truth is…She’s a person.”

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3 thoughts on “Show and Tell

  1. What a great take on “show and tell”. I just loved the floating speech bubbles imagery too and how you had to “thaw out” and move from the freezer section, You are a gifted writer. I think we all have those days when we take our kids on outings, and I can see how they would be more difficult when you have a child with autism. A great reminder to show compassion to one another, for we are all persons.

  2. Very well written! I can totally relate! As Mom’s those comments stick with us. Like when an old man told me, “children should be seen and not heard!” Or the people who called the police because my child was tired, overstimulated and having a temper tantrum. “Yes, officer he has Autism and is calm now, sleeping like an angel.” Or the mother in the Burger King play place who openly told her young daughter that some people do not know how to parent, all the while glaring at me. I had to pull deep for that one, in order to educate. Compassion did arise. Us Mom’s have great strength! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thank you Emily for sharing your own experiences. Amazing mom that you are that you can offer grace and compassion despite ignorance, intolerance, and down right cluelessness! Thank you for reading. I hope this blog can be an encouragement and also informative. I feel like I myself am learning as I go.
      Would love to meet your precious Spectrum kid sometime! Or can you at least send me a picture?

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