I went grocery shopping by myself this weekend, I usually have D or Baby A with me but this time I was alone. It wasn’t the first time I had this opportunity but I always feel like I’m missing something when I don’t have them with me. The upside: I was able to focus more on what I actually needed to get instead of herding kittens.
I’m past being embarrassed by, “Sto-” “C’mere” “No” “Wai-” “Get dow-” “What are y-” “Don’t”, etc. It felt strange to think in full sentences.
I pushed my cart to a checkout lane, acknowledged the cashier and bagger when they greeted me and typed in my reward card information. I noticed the young man waiting to bag my groceries was not picking up the items as they came down the belt to him. He finally leaned over the pile, almost parallel to the floor, and began stimming. It was a sort of rapid wrist twist that caused his fingers to make a popping sound. It lasted about 20 seconds and afterward he stood up and seemed fine.
He looked into the distance and was not putting the groceries in bags and I made it a point to wait until he started to ask if I could assist him. He never made eye contact and simply replied, “Sure.” I began bagging my items alongside him and remember thinking that I was so proud of him. This is someone I’ve never met before and yet I feel like I know a tiny bit of his struggle. As if this somehow connected us on a non-existent level.
When I finished loading my truck I sat and thought about him. I hoped he was being respected by all the customers he came across. That they be understanding, kind and without judgment toward this young man who was working harder than they could know.
It gave me hope for my son also. A reassurance that he will exceed all expectations.