The Connection

It was just a trip to the bathroom at the zoo.

We had just finished lunch during our trip at the zoo last week, and I decided to take Rerun to the bathroom to clean him up and change him.  So, I hauled him in, diaper bag in hand.

As I was wrestling with my recalcitrant son (who has decided that diaper changes are extremely unnecessary, despite the evidence to the contrary), I noticed a mother sitting on the bench next to the changing table.  This was not unusual, but she had a boy with her, who I estimated to be ten or eleven years old.

In the women’s bathroom.

I did a double-take, but even as I was doing the double-take, the voice in my head said, That’s you in just a few more years, you know.

And as I continued to fight with Rerun to get him snapped back up, I watched this boy and his mother out of the corner of my eye.  The boy was a little agitated, so mom started rubbing his back.  Then he started stimming by wiggling his fingers repeatedly.

Aha, said the voice in my head.

The mom saw me looking at them while I was (finally) getting Rerun finished up.  I offered her an understanding smile.  “How old is your son?”  I asked her.

“He’s ten,” she said slowly, probably uncertain of what I would say next.

I picked up Rerun off the changing table.  “My older son is almost six,” I said.

She looked at me.  “Is he autistic, too?”

“Yes, and I wouldn’t let him go into a public bathroom by himself either.”

She offered a relieved smile.  “Well, I usually let him go with his friends, but we’re with a moms outing today, so…” she trailed off.  There was nothing more she needed to say.  She understood that I understood.  We had connected in a random moment of solidarity in the women’s bathroom at the zoo.

I smiled back at her as I carried Rerun back out of the bathroom.  “Good luck,” I told her.

And she knew what I meant.

One Response to “The Connection”

  1. linda
    July 7th, 2011 05:51

    Deanna, You touch so many lives each day.
    This Mom will never forget your smile, understanding and love.
    We are ever so Thankful for you!