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Jun 13

Kindness

Like any other parent, I struggle with the day-to-day activities and tasks that need to be completed. It takes effort and work to maintain a household and caring for children. It is more intensely true for parents who have children with autism. Countless appointments, therapies, phone calls, emails, meetings, evaluations managing the care as well as one-on-one interaction required by our children make daily living busy and trying.

The stress and wear this has brought to my life is something I cope with everyday. The burden is lessened with the kindness others have expressed, in some form or another, to me and my family.

I have been on the receiving end of countless actions and thoughts of kindness. The kindness has been done without me asking and gestures of kindness I would never thought meant anything.

A few examples of these acts of kindness:

Husband

My husband is an amazing man. He is the only other person who truly knows what I go through daily with Brody. Unfortunately as he is the breadwinner of our family therefore he is not able to be home as much as he would like. The gestures of romance, love and kindness has continued no matter the hectic life. He randomly grabs me a candy bar or soda to bring back to me. These times seem to fall on days when I really needed those extra indulgences or pick-me-ups. For no reason or following a tough, tear filled night, my husband would come home to bring me flowers. Those evenings or early mornings where my body ached from mothering and sleepless nights my also tried husband would rub my shoulders and aching neck. The kindness in these actions and gestures are small and there are much more important things my husband does for our family daily. I wanted to mention these little ones because, as some might know, it is the small things that matter.

Strangers

There are strangers we come across that we may never see again but yet there are seconds or minutes in life that those strangers impact our lives. One time recently I was at our local grocery store. It was one of those times I thought Brody would not fuss very much because with our habilitation provider he has not been as unruly at the store. This time it was just me and him and I was wrong. As always, the problem moment is during check out. Whatever snack or treat he has in the cart (which like other children, I don’t mind him getting something) he cannot part with while the cashier scans it. These moments at any store Brody has a massive, violent and emotional tantrum right there at the cash register. He hits anyone he can lunge and the screaming can probably be heard around the store. This has happened for years but with working with the habilitation provider it has slightly improved. On this day, it seemed without the provider he was back to how he always was. By now he knows why he needs to give the item to be scanned but he just still feels like he needs to get upset. There Brody was about to meltdown and as the tears filled my eyes with the event that was about to ensue something happened. The kindness shown was from the angel who took the form of a cashier. Before Brody even started a meltdown, it seemed she had a small hint that about to happened and offered for Brody to come around to her side of the register so he could scan the item himself. Choosing this route, she knew he could keep it with him. After a bit of chatting I knew she had absolutely no experience with special needs kids. The actions of this woman was simple but yet saved me AND Brody from emotional heartache. I will never forget that moment and the thoughtfulness she showed us.

Family & Friends

Over the years there has been countless times that family and friends have reached out to show kindness. People who go to my church, neighbors, sister-in-laws, sisters and the list goes on. It has been in the form of a meal brought to us without  asking by a friend who knew that me going back to work outside of the home must make life chaotic. My sister who picked up a soda and a chocolate donuts from QT (I promise it is not always about food but sometimes it is)! My kind mother-in-law who cleaned up my house that desperately needed it and all while babysitting my kids so my husband and I could get out for a couple hours. My own mother who will sit and talk with me who empathizes with my mothering experience of Brody and at times tears fill her eyes. It is kindness beyond what others even know when I see them take a few minutes to engage with Brody because it interaction with him doesn’t come quickly or naturally.

The times I described or listed above are just a small scrape in the barrel of kind acts, interactions and service shown to me and my family. For any readers out there just know that kindness does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. The thanks may not be said at the time and how grateful a person is may not even be able to be expressed but just know it is there. The kindness can be the thing that keeps the tears tucked away or pulls someone out of sadness.

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