We took a little trip last weekend to visit some friends. A little weekender to get away, hang out, do nothing special with friends who moved away but with whom we are still close.
I think I mumbled a surprised “thank you”.
After disembarking, we had a quick potty break where the woman again approached me and repeated her compliment. I told her that J-man was on the spectrum, so that makes her compliment extra sweet since it is a greater challenge for him than most. She mentioned she was once a special education teacher and that clearly we are doing something right. After she left, she apparently found Dan in the hall waiting for us and repeated her compliment to him.
You know, I think that was the first parenting compliment I have ever received. Or at least, my first compliment from a complete stranger who did not know J-man’s backstory. I think most special-needs parents get the evil eye because our children do have difficulty in public for a variety of reasons: overstimulation, difficulty understanding social norms, difficulty communicating, anxiety, and so on. Our kids tend to have difficulty behaving “as expected”… as a well behaved neurotypical child (and note: Not all neurotypical children behave well. Just saying.). Anyway, we receive more than our fair share of the Hairy Eyeball.
So to have the opposite. To get a compliment. And to know that somebody noticed all of his hard work…. well, it warranted a blog post.