Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fucking AUTISTIC!

Kristi is my sister-in-law. In many ways, she is like the sister I never had. I never had a sister, and while I quite enjoyed sharing my childhood with 3 other younger brothers, there was always this secret longing for a fellow vagina to share my female secrets, hopes and dreams with.



Kristi is not really that kind of a gal. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with that, at least I don't feel that way, but she's more of the "Protector" archetype.



While I don't get much time to chat by the seaside with her and sip on tea, there are so many things this person does that leaves me in awe of her.



Growing up, I had no balls. I never stood up for myself. The 'protector' in me was stuffed far away in the recesses of my personality, and usually when she DID come out, it was with a bloody axe and everyone in the room was left on their knees and crying. So I did my best to hide her away and instead let the core of me become this blissfully unaware flesh shield, ready to take all the blows that this universe had to throw at me.

I imagine somewhere in time, space, and beauty, that Kristi might have led this sort of lifestyle too growing up. Here is where we are alike.

Somewhere in time though, she found a way to let her "Protector" come out without feeling the need to kill every living thing in the room before she kicked the dust off her boots and said farewell.

Here is where we differ.

Yesterday, my oldest son, Tha Jr., spent the night at Kristi's house. She had promised that she would let him stay over when she had more time (the woman's pretty fucking busy with 6 kids to take care of and her own cleaning business to attend to) because she wasn't able to make it to his birthday in June. I didn't feel this was neccessary just because I already know she would do anything for my son. That's just how she rolls for those she loves.

She took him to Walmart before returning him to me, but not before the motherfucking migraines could take a chunk out of my kiddo again like they always do, leaving him an inanimate pile of flesh, with only enough strength to run to the bathroom in order to puke his guts out every five minutes.

But once that 'dance' was finished and he felt better, she took him to Walmart and let him pick out some Lego set-ups (his newest intense interest/obsession). He was happy as a kid could ever be, feeling newly refreshed after an afternoon of being sick, and having new Spongebob Legos to look forward to building Bikini Bottom Empires with.

Kristi says her and Mike were in the medicine section of Walmart when she noticed an older woman, a Walmart employee, stop him and say something. She also noticed that Mike's head was suddenly hung down low as she walked away.

"What happened?" Kristi asked.
"Nothing. Just don't worry about it Aunt Kristi."
"What'd that lady say to you?" She presses.
"She told me I can't skate with my Heelies in here, but I wasn't skating."
"Huh." Kristi follows the older woman down the aisle.
"Excuse me. Miss? Do you have a problem with this kid?" Kristi gestures toward my son.
"Oh. I was just telling him that he doesn't need to be skating in this store", employee is dismissive.
"Well, next time, if you have a problem with something my kids are doing, can you tell me instead, and then I can tell them myself? He wasn't even skating. And besides even if he was, I don't see a sign here that says, "No Skating", Kristi tries to reply calmly.
"He's a grown boy. He can handle it. And besides, I saw him skating." The old croon replies.
"I've been watching him the whole time. No he wasn't. And besides, you don't know what could be going on with any of these kids, so you should always notify the parent first. I was right here with him. You could've told me."
"Well, I don't see what the big problem is!" Says the old croon.
Kristi leans in real close to the old croon's face. "He's fucking AUTISTIC!" she whispers vehemently.
"He's got ears", the old croon comes back with smoothly.
"You know what? You're RUDE. I want to speak with your manager. I'm going to report you."

And so she did.

There's been so many times I wanted to do that, stand up for my kid the way she has this amazing ability to do for herself. But I'm always trying to see the 'reasonable' side of the situation, and I argue all the possibilities of why I shouldn't be "in your face" about my son's whole autism thing. The old croon's right. The kid's a grown boy. And yeah. He does have ears. But where was her heart in all of this? She's a grown woman. She's got ears too. And a mouth. And a nose. Does it mean that we as a humanity have the right to abuse our employee powers just because there is some traditional, age old adage about how kids shouldn't be having more fun than the adults?

Fuck that. No.

And thank you Kristi. I heart you. You earn my "Hero of the Year" award.


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Hero of the Year

2 comments:

Betsy said...

My kids recently got yelled at by a bartender. 10 years and no one has ever said boo to them in a restaurant except to tell them how well-behaved they are. The first place they ever went was a restaurant, for crissake, and my little one has been going to this one since she was in my tum.

I went over and stood up to the bartender, partly apologizing, partly to let her know how she couldn've handled it better. (I did punish the kids, because they were getting a bit nuts, though everyone there swore up and down that they didn't care at all.) But thing is, the bitch should've spoken to me first. Seriously.

My kids were heartbroken. The mamma-she-wolf came out that day. Surprised the hell out of me.

Realmcovet said...

Bets, good for YOU!! I always pictured you a sort of protector archetype as well. It comes out heavily in your writing anyway, and that is why I stalk you to an obscene/absurd degree.