A Facebook friend posted this picture the other day and it immediately made me think of Lincoln.
While I was admiring the picture my almost 3 year old came and sat on my lap and said “ohh! Superman!” and I smiled and said “Yup. what do you think?”
“I know!” I smiled. “isn’t it?”
I thought of how this little boy was a lot like my little boy. Standing in front of the world so proud of who he is, even though he is standing only in undies and rain boots with a makeshift super cape but feeling, that he could be king of the world – protector of all.
It didn’t matter to this boy that he was standing out, that he was different, and that some were laughing at him. Some of the laughter being that soft chuckle from an elder who finds you sweet and cute. Some from others that cling so desperately to the idea of normalcy that they can’t bear to accept any deviance from the definition, no matter how boring that might be.
It makes me wonder how many people will look at this boy and see confidence and pride and want nothing more than for that feeling to stay with the boy through puberty and teenhood. To when he blossoms into an adult who makes choices in his life and career that may very well effect how others are treated and judged and what freedom they are granted to decide what type of person they wish to be.
I wonder how may people will make a snap decision that he is being whimsical and silly and stomp his imagination into the ground, forcing him back into ‘regular’ and humdrum expectancy of childhood that some parents have.
Some will look at a child with Autism and do just that. Judge. Box. Try to force them into their place, someplace far from sight where things stay ‘comfortable’ and Autism is not their problem. Blind eyes. Ignorance. Oh how soothing it is to some. They will not look at that child in the cape and see what a hero he is.
One thing I hope that more people will see is how brave that child is to stand in his Spiderman boots and underoos and stick his chin up to the world certitude. He is baring himself for the world to see without any skepticism, or doubt. He believe in the good of the world and he believes in himself.
Let you child be proud. Help other see that your child has autism but he isn’t JUST autism.
Remind others that we all have felt uncertain and disquieted and it feels awful. Don’t allow ANY child to be hindered by those feelings, much less a child that may have a hinderance that is out of their control, that they did not ask for nor can they cure. And maybe, they don’t wish to.
Different is beautiful. It gives us innovation, invention and uniqueness that I am so very thankful for. It transcends regular and moves into extraordinary.
Take another look at the photo and don’t be so quick to judge. And while your at it, do the same when you see a child with Autism.