At the hospital, we waited 15 minutes for the elevator and as we got in, a frazzled looking mom with her 8 yr old boy got in with us.
They had sat in the car waiting for the lifts, the boy making a wailing sound while his arms and legs spasmed irregularly.
Because we were forced to wait so long, there were a lot of us in the elevator.
Instincts overruling elevator etiquette, I turned to the mom and said, “Is he going to be okay with us all squashed in here like sardines? If you move a little more that way, my daughter and I will secure the corner and give him more room to breathe.”
She nodded gratefully back and we stood like we were in row 2 at a concert, my 10-year-old and I holding our ground forcefully against the marauding masses.
The wailing had stopped and he appeared calmer when I turned around to make eye contact, “You okay there, big boy?”
He didn’t answer or look at me but his body language was relaxed. His mom smiled at me and I smiled back.
In that moment, we were just two moms in an elevator acknowledging all the realities of motherhood.
There is no shame in having a child that is different and looking away only alienates the parents.
Make eye contact. Smile. Go on, it won’t kill you.