When I think about the nice things that people have done for me, it’s hard to separate them from the bigBIGthings that have made an impact on my life but didn’t necessarily stem from kindness. When I think about the nicest things that I have been blessed to receive, they include the following.
The woman who carried me in her body, loved me, sang to me, and gave me away. The family that made me theirs.
My boss, way back then, who offered me an opportunity that involved a move from Denver to DC. It was one of the best things I’ve done, and my boss was incredibly nice, but she wasn’t “just being nice.” Her treatment of me when I came here was. That she took time to know me, to befriend me, and to invite me.
The day that two special education teachers came to my home to evaluate Tucker, and talk to me about non-categorical preschool versus Preschool Autism Classroom (PAC) is something that I remember as kind. I realize that it was their job to come. But, they could have been awful, rude, or too busy to care. They weren’t. When I said “Um, wait. The autism class? But. Really. Truly. It’s just a speech delay,” they did not judge or assume. They listened.
Later, they fell in love with my son. They guided me, almost as much as they guided him.
That they understood him, in a way that I didn’t. That they got that his cape was put on backwards, and that that’s when he got upset.
They got more than I did, when he was just ThisBig.
My friend Joanna, who came to hear me read my story for Listen to Your Mother. While I know she enjoyed the show, she was there for me for weeks while I obsessed over what to wear, sent her photos of shoe options, and couldn’t even talk about the rehearsal without crying. She didn’t push. She was just there. That Dana, Sarah, and Denise came, in spite of long drives. That I told my story.
With amazing women, who also told theirs.
It’s easy to feel like we – as people – don’t deserve kindness, and empathy. It’s easy to feel like a freak. But, you know, we’re not.
Or, we are.
All of us.
All of us are a damaged, broken, hurt, insecure, and feel undeserving of nice.
All of us are also more than deserving of nice. Deserving of all of it. Understanding, hugs, and the little moments, like a friend choosing a scarf that she thinks will look pretty on you, just because you’re in Listen to Your Mother.
All of us deserve those moments. Sometimes, though, they’re hard to remember. On some level, I like to think that we remember. That we remember the kindness, if not with our brains, with our souls, and our bodies, and in our actions.
The kindness that we absorb, and the kindness that we learn. It matters.
One of the nicest things anybody’s ever done for me is to read this blog, and to make me feel less alone. To make me realize that there is an entire world of people out there – people who are hoping to be parents, people who are parenting precocious and amazing little kids, people praying for the right therapy for their special needs kid, and the just people people.
There are you guys. Out there.
The best thing.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The sentence is “One of the best things somebody ever did for me was… ” by Sarah at Left Brain Buddha. Please go show her some extra love.