An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Daily Thanks # 16

The kindness of strangers.

My boys and I took a small break from life’s recent stressors tonight as I took them to a nearby kid’s fast food place.  Eating out isn’t very new to them, but getting to go in and sit down at the tables instead of grabbing our food through a drive through and sitting in the car is still a bit novel for them.

My boys don’t fit in.  Even when they try.  And sadly, more often than not, this means our family is not treated kindly or even cordially a lot of the times we try to go out into the general public.  Depending on what we are trying to do, and where we are specifically, a lot of things can play a role in how well or not so well an outing goes, but outside of a couple places in town, eating out is generally one that can come with expected problems so we have grown accustomed to having picnics in the car so to speak on these occasions instead.

Tonight though, the boys and I simply needed a break and a chance to sit down and relax so I took a chance at going in.  I gave them their usual prep talks and reminders to help prepare them for the experience and help them remember how they would be expected to behave, and then we went inside.  I rarely see those two little grins get much bigger than they were as we walked in those doors.  The part that made tonight extra great though, was not the fact that we got to go in so much as how others treated us once we were in there.  The boys, as usual, were doing their best to be on their best behavior and to be as cooperative as they could, but they still stood out.  They can’t really help it and to be honest I hate it when they’re made to feel as if they’re somehow less because of it.  It breaks my heart.

Tonight though, no one did that.  No one stared or glared.  No one made snide comments, or rude remarks.  No one picked on David about his hair length or Joshua about his colorful shoe choice.  When David starting stimming a bit out of excitement no one even blinked an eye.  Even though people noticed (kind of hard not to lol), they chose not to make a big deal out of it; to not single us out and show their disapproval.

Tonight, even though we presented as a not so “normal” family, we got the chance to have an evening out that was relaxed and eventless.  All due to the kindness of strangers.

The point?  Remember that even the smallest act of kindness, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you, can make a world of difference to someone else. : )

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1 Comment

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