It’s not that I’m more aware now. I’ve always noticed things that are different. Today I went to the grocery store before picking up Gavin. A father and son were are walking by. I could tell by the 18 year old’s wide eyes that he had autism. I always smile at them and then my heart sinks a little. “Another.” I whisper inside my head. Then when I was checking out they were near me again at the self checkout. My back was turned to them but I heard the boy squeal as his dad scanned an item and then I looked over quickly and saw him hand it to him. The boy started swinging his arms fast at his sides and rocking. I could feel the energy from his arms swinging so close to me. It scared me for a moment. I thought what if Gavin is like this when he is older? How much stronger he will be and how these arm movements, now seemingly so small, will become bigger, heavier. The energy just grows.
I walked out of the store pushing my cart of pumpkins and organic French fries. An elderly man walked toward the store wearing a red crab hat and a chicken puppet on one hand. He noticed my gaze straight toward him. He motioned to his upper arm with the puppetless hand and said with a big smile, “I’m getting my flu shot.”
We are all still puppets here and it’s hard to find control.