I took Jack to the grocery store the other day.
We were out of chips.
This was not Jack’s first foray out of the house that day , so he was a wee bit cranky.
And, this was not one of his usual grocery stops– this was a different store.
But what I could I do?
We needed a specific brand of chips. Autism parents, YOU know what I am talking about.
So we get into the store and start shopping — IMMEDIATELY Jack is enthralled by the huge row of ceiling fans in the store.
He is mesmerized and I am hard pressed to navigate the store with Jack because wherever we go he HAS to see the fan.
We finally make our way to the check out and Jack is beside himself with happiness as he has a perfect view of THE FAN!
And so he starts laughing and shouting
“I see the Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!”
He stims a little.
Rocks a little.
Shouts once again: “Faaaaaaaan! I see the Fan!”
I am smiling. Laughing. And going about my business of putting the chips on the conveyor belt.
That is when I notice her.
Her. The woman behind us in line.
She is doing every thing she can NOT to acknowledge us. She is painstakingly looking away. Down. Up. Everywhere except in our vicinity– which is hard , because we are RIGHT NEXT TO HER. It is apparent that this is not what she bargained for when she came in to get her bread and milk.
Now I get that not everyone is comfortable being around special needs children OR adults.
I was not expecting her to become my BFF while we bonded over Jackson shouting FAN in the grocery store.
I realize that Jack and I threw a monkey wrench into her grocery shopping experience.
Which is too bad.
Because she was missing out on a little bit of happiness .
Had she actually peeked over at us she would have saw paroxysms of pure delight.
She could have shared some of that delight if only for a few seconds
Instead she did everything in her power to NOT see it.
Sheer delight and pure happiness was right there next to her and she turned away.
I invite you all to cast off expectations in the moment, to open your eyes to the world outside your comfort zone.
You may just find a bit happiness of your own.
We WILL smile back you. I promise.