Dear Mom in the Waiting Room.

Dear Mom in the Waiting Room,

I didn’t see you at first. What I noticed as we walked in was a young, laughing girl spinning around with a stuffed animal at the end of her outstretched arms. She had that kind of pure laugh that made me smile just hearing it.

We were there for an ultrasound. Not a major procedure, but my son had major stress. My son is autistic, and has a boatload of medical trauma from his years in an orphanage. Add those together, and hospitals don’t end up high on our list. My son didn’t even notice the spinning, laughing girl.

I sat my nervous son down on the couch, gave him his iPad, and went to fill up his water bottle. (“Have him drink lots of water for an hour, and don’t let him pee,” they told us.  Yeah, okay. We had peed 4 times since the parking garage.)

The waiting room was busy. I’m not sure you even noticed us.

Halfway to the water fountain, I heard the girl shout, “Minecraft! Hey! I love Minecraft!”

She hopped over to my son, and plopped herself down right next to him.  She offered up that amazing laugh again.

“Oh hi. Do you want to play with me?”

(Hang on for a second, Mom in the Waiting Room, I need to interrupt myself. Was that my kid who just went out of his way to interact with a mini-ball-of-female-fire in an entirely appropriate way? Shut The Front Door.)

The girl answered, “Yeah, I wanna play. I love Minecraft. Your house is cool. Did you build a bed?”
“It’s not a house. It’s a B-29.”
“I’ve heard of those.”
“B-29s are my favorite. What’s your favorite?”
“My favorite is playing outside. And Minecraft.”

And on it went.  My son was having a bona fide conversation. With another kid. I stood there with my mouth open, and my son’s forgotten water bottle tilted at a dangerous angle.

She asked, “Why is your lip scar’ry and big?”
Jax said, “I just had surgery. I was born with broken lips.”
She said, “Well, it’s totally cool.”

Stop the press. My autistic son and a girl he has never met are having an honest-to-goodness playdate in a hospital waiting room, his cleft lip scars are “totally cool,” and his conversational skills just jumped ten levels, and landed on pretty damn good. Am I awake?

I listened as this girl with the fairy-tale laugh made every sacrifice, every inconvenience, and every therapist in my home absolutely worth it.

When their name was called, she sprang up. Mom in the Waiting Room, you also got up, but slowly. I had looked around earlier, trying to identify this girl’s parent. You had been sitting in a chair several feet away with your eyes closed. I didn’t peg you as her mom. You’re younger than I am, but tired. I could see how tired. I wanted to say something to you as you left, to acknowledge your daughter’s inherent kindness somehow, but our eye contact was so brief, your smile so slight, that I let my son do all the talking. “Bye New Best Friend!,” he said.

It wasn’t until the drive home when I replayed what had happened in my head that I remembered Jax asking his new friend why she was in the hospital.

“My brother has a port.”
Oh God. You’re not just tired, you’re trying to stay afloat. 

Mom in the Waiting Room, I was going to tell you that your daughter gave me hope today. But that’s not quite right. She gave me more than hope, she gave me proof that I have chosen the right path for my son. My son connected, he interacted, he laughed with a peer – things I thought might be out of his reach forever. I gambled big, but today I saw that it has been worth every saved-up, cashed-in penny. I have a feeling I will sleep though the night tonight for the first time in years.

It sounds like your plate is fuller than most, and I think you might have really important, really hard things on that plate. I don’t know you, Mom in the Waiting Room, but if you’re like every other mother in the universe, you wonder if you’re doing enough. You are. You must be. Your daughter is special, and that kind of special doesn’t grow without a lot of encouragement. Good job. Even in the hospital waiting room with your eyes closed, you did more than enough.

Sincerely,
Becca

waitingroommom

0 thoughts on “Dear Mom in the Waiting Room.

  1. Came here from Charida Rose’s blog…

    Wow, this is very touching and moving, inspiring and all kinds of wonderful. I’m not a mother at all but I have a young niece I love dearly though not autistic I do have a young adult cousin who is. Putting my love for them into perspective I can imagine what you witnessed and what you felt, your recounting here takes me back their with you. If you didn’t cry then I’m applauding you because I would have. This is a beautiful story from so many different angles, thank you for sharing it and in sharing it the way that you did. Excellent. And I wish you and your family more experiences and progress like this. My heart & prayers go out to you and the other mother in the waiting room.

  2. Reblogged this on karenvictoria9 and commented:
    I really enjoyed reading this. It really warmed my heart. It is good to see children play with each other even though they are different. Some children turn their noses up at others being different. This little girl gave me hope that there might just be a change in humanity. I understand from your point of view that it is going to be very different for your son to interact with others. But just hang in there, as he gets older it will be easier for him to make friends. Good luck with your new baby. Thank you for making me smile

  3. What a wonderful story! I can relate. I have 3 autistic grandsons. In one of your pictures it looks like there is a circle of light. Maybe it’s angels watching over them.

  4. Truly amazing. My youngest daughter is a non verbal autistic and she communicates using a tablet. On one of our many visits to hospital a girl came up to L and introduced herself. L responded on her tablet my saying “hi my name is …” I couldn’t believe it. I had never or seen her do that before.

    These moments are gems and certainly are precious.

  5. This is amazing. Thanks for sharing. I have learnt something from this post. Which is that even when kids that are so young could make friends with autistic children then why are adults still afraid of them and laughing at them. And surely I’m proud of that little girl. (;

    god bless x

  6. I wish the very best for both of you. The path you are on isn’t easy, but I’m glad to see there is hope and joy along the way. Blessings to you and your son.

  7. This is such a hopeful story. My goddaughter is in and out of the hospital a lot, and I hope my friend has experienced a time like this when someone showed her hope for her child. Kids are a wonderful view into the world without prejudice.

  8. Marvelous. Same experiences, with some of my autistic kiddos – never know when the magic butterfly of ‘neuro-normal’ will alight and, for a few moment, let others see them as the beauties that WE see every day.
    Gorgeous writing & love the generosity of spirit. Yes, the poor other mama…

  9. Reblogged this on The Adabashi Adventure and commented:
    I think we love our kids with Autism harder and celebrate what others view as tiny accomplishments like our kid just walked on the moon! I love that this blogger gave another mom encouragement for the things she was doing right. Women need to lift each other up whenever possible.

  10. I had read this post before. Not sure what led me to it the first time, but it was reposted by another blogger I happened to be reading today (not sure how I got to her blog, either – such is the nature of the blogosphere) and I followed the link and read it again. It’s such a lovely story told in such an interesting way. Thank you for inspiring us by using your substantial story-telling skills. I appreciate your sensitivity and your way with words. I’m now following your blog and look forward to reading more.

  11. Children with disabilities are children full of hope , excitement and new adventure. I learn something new with nephew everyday . they shouldn’t be defined based on there disability, but for who they are. Enjoy the moment , I’m sure you will have many more.

  12. This honestly made me tear up a bit. I loved it. This is the first piece of yours that I have read and I just want to say thet you certainly have a gift of words. I loved this post!

  13. Illness can make us appreciate more in life. Some of the deepest moments in history of mankind is when they’re sick. I’m not trying to say that being sick is good thing, but it’s when illness strikes, then you’ll realize something, new or special or unique. It’s really has a lotta do with keeping a positive lookout. Stay strong.

  14. I understand this could out me as a metaphysical person but the picture on the right is very unique. I am not well versed in orbs and light infractions but typically they are a sign of spirit. That one is very bright and may be worth looking into. I wish you the best and life if positivity.

  15. I’m a south African model. Before you go ugh snob.. I’m not a selfish cow. Unlike others I want to put out the problems we as woman and models go through. And what we can of it! I want my blog to be about team work. Girls and guys supporting each other and just being a great support system!

  16. I met a kid at a park once and we hit it off like we’d known each other for years. I was in 6th grade. By my second year of junior high I realized that the kid I promised to meet up with again at the park, the one I liked so much that I drew a picture for him to give him the next time I saw him and that never showed at the park again was in my small group of friends and when I realized it and worked up the courage to tell him, we laughed awkwardly. I even brought him the picture I colored. It was never the same and we were different and never grew too close but the memory and the coincidence is one that I’m rather fond of. 🙂

  17. Reblogged this on CharidaRose's Pen and commented:
    I have to say, this touch me closer to home for me. I have only met my Great Nephew once, but thanks to Facebook my niece Mistie has been keeping me posted on his progress. You see, he also has been diagnosis with autism. This blog post is very touching and inspiring. It sounds very hopeful and encouraging. I want nothing more than to share this with Mistie and other moms of children whom have autism. There is indeed hope.

  18. I totally relate. Both my son and my daughter’s best friend is autistic. They completely ‘get’ each other, though neither one is the wiser to their conditions, and at least he has regular contact with this ‘new best friend,’ practicing these budding social skills. Great story! Congrats on the FP (which is how I found it). 😀

  19. Meticulous!!!

    I have no idea how to praise this one. It has touched me and I guess everyone else who might have read it. You have a gift for writing. But this is more than a post. This is a sign, a sign on which ‘HOPE’ is written in capitals. Hope for everyone who are going through the same problems as you. They’ll believe that their lives will be better, and they will have a smile on their face. A smile that will be worth every single thing in the world.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this. I wish you good luck and hope that your son keeps on improving. And maybe the son of ‘the mom in the waiting room’ will get better too. 🙂

  20. This was beautiful, I felt your heart. I could also relate in more ways than one. I remember when I use to wonder if my son was autistic, he is quite improved now and I think he may have just been socially challenged as an only child. During those days I questioned everything that I did, or didn’t do even during pregnancy. I watched him like a hawk whenever anyone approached him, willing him to act appropriately and respond correctly. I am glad those days are over but my heart goes out to you and the waiting room mother’s everywhere.

  21. Reblogged this on KanekiDesplegado and commented:
    As a sister, having my brother struggle having an autistic nature, it is hard for him to interact with others. The warmth it brings when someone you love is able to interact with another brings a lot of hope and happiness to oneself than one can imagine. This is beautiful

  22. Hi Becca, this is such a wonderful post!

    It’s nice when you said that little girl gives you hope, you know what… thanks to you too for giving that girl a chance to interact with your son, and thanks to you for all your efforts that give your son the chances he won’t have if it’s not because you believe in a betterment for him. And this goes back to you too, “if you’re like every other mother in the universe, you wonder if you’re doing enough. You are. You must be. Your son is special, and that kind of special doesn’t grow without a lot of encouragement. Good job!”

  23. Reblogged this on The Pink Herald's Blog and commented:
    I have several friends and have known parents who have kids on the spectrum. This brought tears to my eyes. It shows you how simple gestures can change your perceived world in an instant This is a story a beauty and is truly inspiring.

  24. What a fantastic post! First time I have read you, and I can’t wait to read more. Thank you for sharing your son and your life. Definitely made me smile, laugh and cry <3

  25. I don’t often comment on stories I read here, but wow. What appeared to be just an ordinary exchange between children was an extraordinary moment for so many reasons. I’m so happy for this. Thank you for sharing your story!

  26. This was very refreshing. Half the women I know write drudgeries of mom blogs about what brand of diapers to buy, or something. This tells an interesting story and it has heart. Well done.

  27. I finished this post with tears in my eyes. I loved it. It sent me back to when I was teaching a Prep class and I had a boy with special needs. His mother, even though at times frustrated and exhausted, was absolutely amazing, providing all the support she could for her son to survive and succeed. Thanks for the beautiful writing.

  28. So beautiful, I have tears in my eyes. I teach kindergarten and this year have two autistic students. The warmth, acceptance and grace that flows to and from these students is amazing. It grows from including ALL kids in the classroom and providing authentic interactions from the youngest of ages. So glad your son and his “new best friend” were not phased by the differences of each other but connected by their similar interests. Comfort with and acceptance of all, the true goal of a diverse society.

  29. Beautiful! Proud of your son and certainly proud of that smiling, laughing little girl! But.. it all boils down to the parenting. So proud of you Mom, and Mom in the Waiting Room!! Keep on growing.

  30. So many incredible lines in this piece. So beautifully written. Tears in eyes feelin’ like I was in the waiting room too. Loved it.

    e

    “I listened as this girl with the fairytale laugh made every sacrifice, every inconvenience and every therapist in my home absolutely worth it.”
    “…but if you’re like every other mother in the universe, you wonder if you’re doing enough. You are. You must be.”

  31. That is so amazing. My friend has an autistic little brother, if this were to happen to him I know how much it would mean to my friend. I can’t imagine how much it would mean to you! The article was written so well too.

  32. This is great! Little Kids can teach us so many things, many more than adults ever could. Children have that free open mind that older people just don’t have, they are more accepting than anyone in the entire world, not many children grow up and stay that way. This makes me happy. ^^

  33. You made me cry. I, too, have a son with autism. He’s 15 now but when he was younger, I was so very grateful for the little kindnesses (no matter how small) from other kids. It gives you hope for your child…and hope for humanity.

  34. I loved this. It’s amazing how sometimes out of nowhere someone treats our kids like they would any other kids and it suddenly opens up a whole new perspective on what our child can do. I’m really happy you got to experience this!

  35. Such a touching story. I hope your message does eventually reach that other mother. It sounds like she could use a measure of hope and goodwill as well.

  36. Its pretty fascinating how fait just takes over at the randomness of moments. He has found his guardian angel and talked to her. Im so glad your son is talking with another, as if hes done it for years. Hope he’s doing well as the years pass.
    SUPPORT FROM PA

  37. What a wonderful thing to read and beautifully written too. I imagine you are doing a pretty good job as a mother yourself for your son to respond in that way.

  38. I can’t see the keyboard for the tears. I’ve just stumbled across your blog and please forgive me but I don’t know what a port is. Your writing speaks to people. x

  39. This is a truly beautiful story! Thank you for sharing.
    My niece who is not autistic but hard of hearing is very cautious in new places and crowds so much so that she clings to her only familiar family members. This gives me hope that she too will one day be ok 🙂

  40. You. Are. Beautiful.
    I wanted to make a blog that people would read, but now I just want to make something this pure and honest, and hopeful for readers.

    I will be following you religiously.
    madidoesmotherhood.wordpress.com

  41. Dear Ms Rebecca, this masterpiece that you have beautifully crafted based on your anecdote is particularly inspiring.

    Your writing style is so genuine that it makes the reader delve into the ocean of emotions that you were in then. Reading this in the morning just makes me feel so much better and once again, having faith in humanity. Children are our most valuable assets and it is definitely our duty to love them unconditionally. You are right, “it [has] been worth [it]”. Thank you for transcribing this and sharing your experience with the whole world.

    May your family be blessed forever! 🙂

  42. I have a twelve year old son who easily embraces other children. Many of his friends struggle with ADHD, autism and most recently depression. His nature is calm, patient and generous but he has a fantastic sense of humor as well which other children delight in being around. I feel he has a gift and has helped many peers that others do not take the time to get to know and befriend because of their struggles. I love him for that special trait which no doubt is shared by that special little girl in the doctor’s office that day. I hope her mother is aware of her daughter’s gift as I am with my son and your letter reaches her if not in hand, in heart.

  43. Reblogged this on Ravings of a Madman and commented:
    I just…. This is big. This is really really big. My husband is autistic, and from the family stories, from bits and pieces he’s told me about his own childhood, he could have benefited from meeting another kid like that girl with the Mom in the Waiting Room. He was a lot like this woman’s son is now. This post is amazing.

  44. Reblogged this on She Writes to Say and commented:
    Just when you thought the world was all frowns and disasters… here. This will give you hope. Not many people know how to act around others who are different in form (mental or physical): but the innocence of children shows us how to get past the differences by finding the similarities.

  45. I love how the fairytale-ish encounter turned out to be real. I could just imagine being there, watching the whole thing unfold. Great, happy-ever-after story.

  46. Jax found a different kind of trigger today. I’m wishing that every young child in his shoes can find their own special trigger that will unlock the key to better things for them. You too are doing well, sister.

  47. This is a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing. Innocence is such a great thing, it’s a shame we can’t all treat each other like this. We could learn a thing or two from kids. 🙂

  48. Obviously, I wasn’t there to see the smile on your face and the joy in your heart as you watched your son interact with the Angel Girl! Even so, your words written so beautifully make me feel like I witnessed something that can only be described as pure joy. Kids always have a way of surprising. What a gift!

  49. Reflections

    We are reflections. She has shown you a part of yourself that you might’ve missed or have forgotten. Surely enough her presence and that of your son and her daughter gave you the possibility to acknowledge. If she would’ve seen you or noticed you, and you opened a dialogue, I think it would’ve disrupted the whole process of reflection. Today I began writing on WordPress and I hope that just like I read and connected with your words, I hope that you may find some connection with mine.

    Much Love,

    Franko

  50. My first read on WordPress. I was just trying out the app for the first time and up pops this precious story. Thank you! Beautifully written and wonderful.

  51. I say it is the little everyday moments that really mean something special if you’re paying attention, and of course, you are! Your little guy is lucky to have you as a mom…thanks for sharing your story.

  52. Love the serendipity of waiting rooms, the tender places of our worry and hope suspended in the tired places in between; these occasions when we are in want of kindness we dare not imagine invite tiny miracles of intention from strangers who gift us faith in something greater than one moment. Beautiful!

  53. Ms. Rebecca. That was a very well written beautiful post. I wish you all the strength, best wishes and good luck. I could totally relate to your story, because I’ve been through similar and marvel at the inherent good nature of people especially children. My sis had a long term health issue which required so many restrictions but in our family and outside I have yet to come across a happier, more optimistic cheerful person.
    Kind regards,
    M

  54. Whoa!

    Honest and heart to heart!

    My respect for the efforts you pour in for your son. Know that there are millions of others who choose to shun their special children instead of support.

    You ARE an incredible lady to stand by him no matter what!

    Stay strong. My prayers.

    A beautiful post…. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  55. Is it too fairytale-ish for me to hope that you will meet that woman again so Jax and his “new best friend” can play another time? I don’t know. Maybe. But I’m still gonna hope it happens.

    Thanks for sharing because I think you just gave me a little hope for my guy that had sort of fizzled lately.

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