30 May 2014

Passing Judgement.....

I went out for lunch today with my friend, Merilee. She is so incredibly beautiful, inside and out. She makes lunch an easier process for me because she always takes a kid! :) We went to Moxies and had a great lunch and a lovely visit.

This is what happened at lunch time....

A mom and her two children came in, they were both teenagers. They sat at a table close to where we were seated. I glanced back and looked at the two teenagers, they looked so unhappy. At this point in the lunch, Adele was yelling and screaming, not because she was upset, but just because she thought that it was a good time to yell and scream. :)
The mom and her children moved tables.
I was kind of upset and thought that it was rather unnecessary and kind of a bold move.
I said to Merilee that I was kind of surprised, as was she and we both commented on how miserable the kids seemed to be out with their mom.

The waitress came back to clear our table and I asked her if they moved because of Adele. She told me that they moved because both of her children are autistic and her daughter is extremely sensitive to noises.
I paused.
Merilee paused.
We both felt bad for judging.
I had to take Brinley to the washroom to change her and on our way back, I decided to stop off at their table.
I told the mom that I was sorry that Adele was being so loud. She then proceeded to tell me that both of her children are autistic and that her daughter needed to be in a quieter place in the restaurant. I shared with her that Adele has Down syndrome and I am learning new things every day about having a child with special abilities. I completely respected their decision to move and was appreciative that the mom took her time to explain her daughter's sensitivity to loud noises.

The mom reassured me that there was no need to apologize and that it was all ok.
I decided to apologize to the son. The daughter kept to herself and played on her IPad, I didn't want to interrupt or make her feel uncomfortable. I told the son that sometimes Adele yells and she gets pretty loud. He told me that she was loud and he thought that maybe he would have to go to the car if she continued and that Adele needed to stop yelling and screaming. It was funny.
I like how he engaged with me and I had a feeling that he knew he was funny. I also felt this connection with him, there was something very special about this boy. I wanted to give him a hug or touch him, but I didn't want to overstep my boundaries.
I left them to eat their meals and apologized to the son and daughter once again for my screaming child. :)
She wasn't misbehaving, like I said before, she was just excited to see Merilee and she was enjoying her snuggle time.

Tried to take a groupie....too funny!! :)

I went back to the table and talked to Merilee about the conversation that I just had with the family. Merilee works with at-risk youth and has a heart of gold. She enjoys what she does and has such a passion and devotion for her students.

We talked about what had just happened. We both judged without knowing. We thought that they moved because Adele was loud. We commented on how the kids looked so unhappy. We passed judgement before knowing their story. We had an A-HA moment. We are all on our own journeys. We all have a past. We all have a story. Taking the time to visit, to learn, to have a conversation with others, instead of assuming that they are just an ass. Driving to work in the morning and some jerk cuts you off or speeds past you, how do we know that he wasn't rushing to the hospital to be with a dying family member or that his wife is in the backseat, ready to give birth.? I think that we are so quick to judge others. We are a judgemental society and it makes me sad. The next time a cashier is rude to you, ask if she is ok instead of giving her a verbal lickin'. Maybe just stop and take the time to learn about another person's journey.

I asked the waitress for our bill but of course, while I was away from the table, Merilee paid for the bill. I decided that I would pay for the other family's meal.

Merilee and I continued to visit and the mom came up to our table. I didn't want recognition for paying for their bill, I just wanted to do it. In the back of my mind, I also wanted to do it because I bet their journey has been at times, very difficult and trying. I could see how much love the mom had for her children, but I could also see some pain.
She was so grateful and thanked me many times.
She also said that people have passed judgement and they don't take the time to learn and ask questions. People judge her children.
She then began to get teary and she told me that nobody has ever done something like this for her.....ever.

That breaks my heart. I gave her a hug and I waved to the kids.

Take the time to learn about others. We are all on a journey.

Basket number 2 delivered to the hospital :)
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