To the mother who took her adult son to Cotton Patch at lunchtime today, I would like to tell you something.
I was sitting there catching up with a friend about all the things going on in our lives; the good, the bad, and the ugly, when your son started hitting the seat very hard and yelling. Loudly.
People began to look. Was this young man a danger? What was wrong with him? You put your arm on him and said quiet words to him and then things went back to normal.
But he was not finished, your son. He next began to yell out words. Bad words. Words I would not want my children to hear. Again, loudly and while hitting the seat next to him.
People now began to get up and leave, or move, and you and your son both began to be the recipients of some harsh glances. Again you leaned over to your son and said quiet words to him.
He yelled out in response, “No! We don’t need to go! I’ll be good, I promise!”
It was at this point that my friend and I became sure of what we suspected. Your son had Tourette Syndrome, and our hearts broke for you.
You sat there, with your son, and pretended the whole restaurant was not looking at you. You pretended not to notice as the wait staff sat the new customers far away from your table. You pretended not to notice as your section emptied out. You tried to simply have a nice lunch out with your son. Something other mothers take for granted.
I wanted to say something to you; something reassuring, something encouraging. We were not all judging you, Mom of a Special Needs Adult Child. Some of us were praying for you. Some of us were willing your son to calm down so you could enjoy your time out.
Your son never did calm down. He yelled and hit the chair and hollered out obscenities the entire time you were there. You handled it so well. You were an inspiration, the way you loved your son despite his unloving and socially unacceptable behavior. You deserve a medal, Mom of a Special Needs Adult Child.
The minute you were done eating, you paid and left the restaurant. You did not linger and have a nice conversation with your son. You got up and left as soon as you were able.
I am sorry you felt you had to do that. I am sorry the world is not a very nice place to you or your son. I hope you don’t give up. I hope you don’t hide.
I wanted to tell you that I was pleased you did not stay home. I thought you were brave, and a great mother for taking your son to lunch, but you left so quickly, I didn’t get the chance.
Since I missed my opportunity to tell you those things, I will pray for you. I will pray that God encourages your spirit today, Mom of a Special Needs Adult Child. Because you were certainly an encouragement to mine.