It’s unseasonably warm – a balmy sixty degrees in New England at the end of November. Brooke and I are crossing the street, headed for the ice cream shop.
I watch the door to the shop open and close as we walk toward it. I fear we’re not the only ones with this idea. The shop is small and the acoustics are awful. It’s a combustible mix that we know all too well.
“Brooke,” I say, “the ice cream shop might be crowded. You going to be OK?”
“Just a little sinus trouble,” she answers.
My fault. She always invokes Burt in Elmo’s World Happy Holidays when I ask if she’s OK. I take a different tack.
“OK, baby. What should we do if it gets too loud while we’re waiting on the line?”
“Cover my ears,” she says.
“That’s a GREAT idea,” I tell her. “That’s perfect.”
“And what will you do if you feel overwhelmed?”
It’s a big question.
She takes it in, processes it, then buys time by asking, “What’d ya say?”
I repeat the question.
“What will you do if you feel overwhelmed?”
After a moment, she speaks.
And when she does, she answers the question with all of the straightforward, no bullsh-t, raw, this-is-who-I-am Brooke-ness that I live for.
Ed note: #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf … continues to thrive on Twitter. It’s been fabulous to have seen so many of you there joining in the conversation.
If you haven’t dipped a toe in the Twitter water yet, don’t be shy. Or do be shy. Heck, just do whatever feels comfortable for you.
In the meantime, I’ll add my new contributions here so that those of you who have drawn lines in the sand can see them too.