I drop off Alyssa at school one morning and drive just a block further to a stop sign, guarded by 3 police cars. Wow, us parents, who drop off our kids at school each day, must be out of control…. We don’t need one or two police officers, we need three! Where’s the SWAT team? I can hear the Sergeants’ order come barking over the loud speaker, “Here comes the drop off crowd, BRACE YOURSELF and take ‘em down!” I laugh to myself.
After my fun mind banter, I think I will challenge myself and pay attention the entire way home to see if I break the law, disobey the signs and lack acknowledgment for what’s right. Will I have any violation? Yep. Actually, I am dismayed. Man oh man… I rolled up to a stop sign slowly, then, continued to roll through, until I remembered I was in a personal “challenge”. I abruptly stopped; my first, best, driving, ever!!! I will also admit to speeding (by just a little). Speeding by just a little doesn’t seem as “bad”, right? Well, sure, unless I get caught by a police officer or worse, cause an accident. What’s wrong with me? Don’t answer that, please. Really, what’s the issue here, this should be simple stuff?
How well do we police ourselves? You read a label at the grocery store which tells you there are nitrates, nitrites and BHT in the product, do you buy it? I had to go to my fridge before admitting…. Yes. AGAIN. Yuck, this is no good! Yet, I pat myself on the back when I notice Alyssa’s foods are good and healthy; whereas, my foods are exceptions to the rule of healthy eating. I know the difference between good and bad food options, yet don’t make the best choices because I reason, it tastes good or maybe it’s not “that” bad, AND, let’s not forget, it costs less. How confusing.
Then, I start to think about how we treat one another. I fear, the truth here, we make similar mistakes. We make exceptions to the rules, we speed through our conversations and we don’t use stop signs, instead, we act on haste, stress, frustration, more than we act on love and doing what is right.
Now, I find myself thinking about Alyssa. Oh yes, I will admit, I think about her constantly. She is my…. everything. I love her to pieces. One thing I love about children, in general, is their simplistic innocence. Innocence seems to be something we have less of as we get older. Our children are watching us. What are they learning? Are we teaching our kids to be more like we are, less innocent, making exceptions for what is right through the use of justification? STOP!! This is where I think I am capable of using good brakes. I want Alyssa to be herself. She is like nobody else.
I look at our experiences over the past few years. Autism is very interesting. These kids surely have beautiful grace, and innocence, I can tell you that! Can they learn? Oh my gosh – YES!!! As an adult, we see their label, the autism one, and think, they aren’t listening, they aren’t paying attention. Maybe, we forget because we are so adult and always think we have it all figured out. Let me tell you about the humbling experience I have been given. I am humbled everyday by the remarkable things Alyssa does and says. I have to remember, she is learning our habits and she wants to do what we are showing her. She is conforming on our request, in the classroom and at home.
I wonder, could we be a society without all the signs and rules? No, probably not. However, if we put ourselves into a place of understanding we are setting an example for someone else, would that help? I think so. I think my daughter is watching, therefore, I will try to make the right choice. Maybe our children should start policing us better. The older we get, we say, we are losing our mind and/or memory and that being said, we should get some extra help each day from our ambitious little ones.
Thank you for reading and have a great week. Angie