June 7, 2011
This past weekend I took Justin to AMC’s showing of the “sensory friendly” movie, which happens generally once a month in specific theaters, Saturday mornings at 10:00. It’s an event for which I like to show my support, and even though Justin no longer needs it, there are plenty of families with children on the autism spectrum who do. The lights are only partially dimmed, no previews are shown, and within reason, anything goes. I’ve sat through showings where children vocally stimmed the entire time, walked around the theater, or simply cried. It’s a place where families can go for an hour-and-a-half monthly and just let it all “hang out”, which is a beautiful thing. As long as nobody is yelling in Justin’s ear he’s perfectly happy, and his mom is equally content to contribute to AMC’s coffers.
This past Saturday we attended Kung Fu Panda Two (a brilliant assessment of which was written up on Professor Mother’s Blog recently), and not only did I get to relax for seventy-five consecutive minutes (well, I did have to work with a lanyard, but it’s worth it), I myself was the recipient of an act of kindness which was worth a dedication from this week’s Gratitude Attitude. Since I’m always cold and continually assume my children are as well, while getting Justin out of the car I actually remembered to bring his favorite sweatshirt with me (yes, I know it’s his favorite because this season it’s the only one he’ll wear).
Upon reaching the theater and waiting in line for our tickets, I happened to glance down into my foolishly open bag and realized said sweatshirt was no longer with us. Of course, I had to talk to myself out loud about this conundrum while scanning the lobby for his red threads, but neither attempt at recovering his sweatshirt paid off. I knew the chances of my taking him out to the parking lot to look for it and returning alive were slim, so I let it go, and hoped I’d find it wedged in the back seat of my car.
After spending another thousand dollars on snacks we really didn’t require (those delicious Junior mints come to mind), we finally made a quick trip to the bathroom. When we exited, I came face-to-face with two lovely gentlemen, one of whom was holding a slightly dirty, but still intact, red sweatshirt. I smiled and blurted out “Oh, I think that’s ours”, and he replied “I know. We heard you talking about losing it in line, so we went out to the parking lot and found it for you. It looked like you needed a little help.”
Understatement of the year.
I thanked both men profusely, and allowed my eager child to then drag me to theater three. I was neither solicited nor asked for my phone number (the forty-four-year-old mother of two being the big draw these days), and just after I managed to thank them both, they disappeared around the corner.
I don’t have to tell you, that experience made my day. I keep saying “it’s the little things”, and for me, they truly are what keeps me going.
So, this week’s Gratitude Attitude goes to two men whose names I’ll never know, who extended to me an act of kindness that truly lightened my load, and put me in a good mood that lasted the duration of the day (and that’s saying a lot).
Thank you so much, and hope I can return the favor!