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I Just Did Something Else I Never Thought I Would Do

July 7, 2012

I had just dropped the twins off at the library where they volunteer for the Summer Reading Program after a chaotic morning of trying to get the Littles dressed and out the door. It’s not normally that difficult, but Andrew is in one of his episodes where he is not the same Andrew that we know and love.

He’s different! He becomes lethargic, despondent, almost non-verbal, noncompliant and pretty much a shell of a person — with some aggression sprinkled in there for good measure! Occasionally, we will see glimpses of his infectious smile, but even that fades quickly and seems forced.

I tried to figure out what I should do with the Littles for the two hours the twins would be working. After battling Andrew all morning, I was weary and not sure what I should do with them. I decided to go do some shopping at Target.

All was going well, except for the occasional looking over my shoulder to see Andrew wandering off oblivious to where I was.

Logan kept asking to go see the toys, but I knew that would be a disaster trying to get Andrew to leave the toys when I wanted to go, so I successfully steered clear of that part of the store.

As we were gathering up the last few items on my list, I noticed someone staring at us. I usually notice people staring at us as Andrew can give quite a show sometimes. I was ignoring the penetrating glare as long as I could when I decided to go with Plan B: Give her a quick smile as if to say,

“Yes, I know Andrew is different, and I’m sorry if he’s interrupting your pleasant shopping experience! We will turn down this aisle out of your way in just a moment!”

Ignoring and deflecting are two character traits you quickly aquire when navigating the community at large with your child who doesn’t quite fit into the social norm.

As I turned to go down a different aisle flashing the most sincere smile I could muster, I noticed her gaze continue to follow me.

Oh, no, she’s on her way over to tell me I have my hands full or to tell me what kind of diet my son should be on to “cure” what’s wrong with him. Or to ask what was wrong with Andrew.

But to my surprise, this unassuming woman asked if Andrew and Logan would enjoy the two Lemon Loaves she just purchased at the Starbucks. I graciously received the loaves and thanked her all the while knowing I would NEVER feed my kids anything from a stranger. She then told me what beautiful children I had, especially Andrew. She told me what a special gift he was.

Basically, she refreshed this weary mama’s heart and gave me a new set of eyes through which to look at him. Until that moment, all I could see was how difficult he was being and how stressful, everyday things become when he’s in his episode.

She chatted with the boys for a few minutes, and I told her Andrew wasn’t talking much right now. She touched my arm and told me about her niece who has special needs.

After a little bit more small talk, we started to part ways. She turned around though and gave me a hug! Kind of odd receiving a hug from a stranger in the middle of Target, but I received it because I knew Jesus was giving me a hug through this woman — a stranger. I had also asked Him for an extra measure of grace that morning as I desperately needed Him to help me get through the day.

I still didn’t plan on eating the loaves, but she also gave me a receipt to show that she did indeed just purchase the Lemon Loaves a few minutes prior. And I felt God say it was okay!

So, I did something I would never do that day! I accepted and ate food from a stranger! I gave thanks for it and for the one who gave it to us, and my whole attitude changed that day!

I guess you could say that when life gives you lemons, God will somehow bless you with Starbuck’s Lemon Loaves, the kindness of a stranger!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. KneeCole permalink
    July 10, 2012 1:38 pm

    Wow, that’s pretty amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  2. September 8, 2012 4:31 pm

    Love this. It such a blessing to my heart when God lifts me up in unexpected ways!

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