Tonight I took the girls to our town's library, after their art class. I'm actually really into our new routine, as their art class is right around the corner from the library so I think it will encourage us to go weekly. Every time we do, I'm reminded of how much I love spending time among the books, students, kids corner...and they have a couponing basket!!
Anyway, as we walked in tonight, I heard a child humming loudly. I didn't see him at first, just heard him. Within 5 seconds, I realized it was an autism-type of hum. I walked my children across the room to the bathroom - I was thankful that in the car I told them once we got to the library we had to wash our hands from the art class. Once we were in the bathroom, I reminded them that some children can't help the things they do, and this little boy might hum a lot while we were there and I wanted them to say a prayer for him in their heads, but to not say anything to him about his humming. Bailey is always a shoe-in for the kid-who-won't-embarrass-me, but Tatie Tot's a loose cannon. She has gotten SO much better, but I was unsure if she came nose to nose with the humming boy, that her questions, complaints or concerns might come spilling out.
We were there about 45 minutes, and what bothered me wasn't the boy's humming...it was his mom. His beautiful mom, there with her son and her other child, a daughter about 7. Her son looked about 5. She must have said "I'm sorry" about 50 times. What touched me so much was that her apologies were in front of her daughter, that made my heart break. She had nothing to be sorry for! She took her children to the LIBRARY...not an expensive restaurant. Just because her son has a special need, she shouldn't go places? Or she deserves to be there any less? AND...her son seemed to have a serious special need, but perhaps he knows what she's saying too.
I am so happy to say, that not only was Taylor - both my girls - on their best behavior, but it wasn't so long ago, that a noise like the humming would have prevented Taylor from enjoying the library at all. A year ago, definitely 2 years ago, I would have had to bribe Bailey with something, and had to leave, carrying a screaming Tatie in my arms. I am so thankful, that a trip to the library was so enjoyable for my girls and I. I did not say, 'I'm sorry' once.
It wasn't so long ago I was saying a lot of apologies. In front of my children. I apologized when Taylor held her ears during dance class because she hated the tapping noise. I apologized when she screamed at the Applebee's because the family at the next table ordered fajitas and she hated the smell and the smoke. I apologized to the checkout girl at the grocery store, as I balanced a mad Tatie on my hip as I threw foods that she hated to look at on the belt. I apologized to family, friends, teachers. Why was I sorry?
This woman tonight, she left the library skipping. Literally. Her son didn't want to leave, his humming became even louder and he was trying to fall to the floor and she half carried him skipping out the door, trying to get him to skip. How exhausted is this mom. I desperately wanted to approach her, but I get so nervous about doing that. It brings tears to me now, thinking of my missed opportunity, of my fear.
That should be what I'm sorry about. For not telling this mom she had nothing to be sorry for.