You know what they say about those with autism lacking empathy? I’m here to tell you that just isn’t so. Today, I walked BigBrudder and the WeeOne in to school to let WeeOne’s teacher know I had to pick him up early, had to give money to Big’s teacher for their class Christmas Party. I was also mentally prepping myself for a meeting today where I’m fairly certain one of Big’s teachers is going to tell me all the ways he isn’t measuring up in this class.
I was standing and chatting with a few of the ladies at the elementary school; I’m there often enough that I’ve made some pretty neat relationships there. As we were conversing, I noticed a little boy with what I ass/u/me was cerebral palsy walking by. (I apologize for my lack of knowledge regarding this. Please, forgive me.) I gave him a smile as he walked by and kept talking to the teachers. Suddenly, the special education teacher says to me, “Mama, be quiet, but come look at this.” Here is what I saw:
The boy who I’d noticed walking and smiled at had fallen in front of his classroom door. Big and his fellow GT classmates were walking to their classroom. Big stops and says, “Oh man, you fell. Can I help you up? It’s no big deal; we all fall down sometimes. Me? I fall down all the time.” So Big bends down and scoops the boy up under his arms and helps him up like it’s no big deal. He and his friends continue on their way to their classroom. He sees me, walks in and gives me a great big ol’ wet kiss on the lips and goes on his merry way.
That my friends is empathy at it’s finest. It wasn’t the neurotypical kids who stopped. It was MY boy: the one who doesn’t see anything wrong with being different. The one who loves animals, insects, reptiles and all of God’s creatures more than anyone else I know. The one who didn’t know that that is exactly what I needed today more than any other day. This, my friends, is my Christmas gift from Big, and it is perfect.