Sometimes all it takes to make a stressful situation a little easier is to be reminded that someone understands what you’re going through.
A Washington mother was having lunch with her autistic son when a series of events led to a public meltdown. She shared the experience of trying calm him down on her Facebook page — and it’s a story many parents can relate to. “I should have known better than to take him out for lunch after a dentist appointment, but he was so excited for pancakes and I promised so there was no turning back,” she writes. “He remembered that he forgot something at home that he wanted and within seconds he was in full on autistic meltdown. We had just ordered our food.”
Many parents know the stress of that moment all too well. Do you pack up your food and go? Do you hope the meltdown subsides? All the options run through your head, usually in front of an audience of people you can’t help but think are judging you.
She continues, “After several minutes of stares, I took him outside until our food came so he could have his moments without me getting all the stares. Thankfully he calmed down when he saw food, ate the food, then amped right back up again. When I asked the owner Cyndi Moody for our receipt, she presented me with this.”
“Someone else had paid our bill. There is good in the world and this mama is thankful for the kindness of strangers.”
In place of judgment, a stranger sat with empathy. Whoever this person was, they made a small gesture to let another parent now she wasn’t alone. They turned a stressful situation into one filled with comfort: the comfort that comes when you know that someone understands what you’re going through.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and alone when dealing with certain situations — especially when they involve public meltdowns. This is a good reminder to reach out to those who are in those situations when you can. We could all use a little help every once in a while. And parenting karma is real — it will come back to you.