Raising children with special needs is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Most of the parents who find themselves in the unique position of having a child with autism never run out of stories about how they had to change their lifestyles completely to accommodate their children.
With the additional attention that these kids need, parents will often find themselves having to make sacrifices and to give up on their most beloved leisure activities so they can devote more attention to their kids. If it wasn’t for the unconditional love that these parents have for their children, there’s no telling how they would manage any of it.
For Chrissy Kelly and her husband, life with their autistic children is no less difficult. This young couple was blessed with not one, but two brilliant children who happen to be autistic. Parker and Greyson are two charming little boys, but they have managed to change the lives of their parents in quite a number of ways. The boys are prone to acting out whenever they’re in public and because of that, Chrissy and her husband had to give up on things like dining out, because the boys would just be too difficult to handle.
So for the longest time after they were born, Chrissy and her husband stayed indoors. They feared the stress they would have to go through if they dared to step out. They did not want to be the parents causing a scene and ruining everyone’s dinner dates because their kids acted out at a restaurant.
As the boys grew older, however, Chrissy saw that they were calming down a little more. Their behavior got a little more manageable. So Chrissy allowed herself to get her hopes up. She and her husband wanted to enjoy something that normal parents often take for granted: they wanted to go out to a nice restaurant to eat.
One night, they bravely left the comfort of their own home, drove out to their favorite restaurant and asked for a table. And it just so happened that the table assigned to them was dangerously close to a small table with two elderly women. Even before anything happened, Chrissy could feel that this was way too close for comfort. The last thing that she wanted was for her worst fears to come to life: she didn’t want her children to start acting out and making these two lovely ladies wish the worst kind of harm on Chrissy and her husband.
But luck was not on Chrissy’s side that night. Little Parker and Greyson chose that day to abandon all calmness and be as difficult as possible.
On a normal day, the two boys would at least give each other turns, but on that night they both started acting out at the same time. Greyson decided that his feet deserved to be on the table so he kept on taking his shoes off and making his feet join the cutlery on the table. And Parker put up his own little act by standing up every few minutes, leaving the table, and then screaming in a tantrum whenever Chrissy tried to get him to sit back down. Soon, what they had hoped would be a much deserved lovely dinner at the restaurant turned out to be nothing but pure stress.
It certainly didn’t help that the two women in the table next Chrissy’s started turning their heads to observe the scene. And as the women got up to leave, Chrissy feared the worst: She feared that the women were so annoyed by the scene the boys caused that their entire night was ruined. When one of the women leaned in to say something, Chrissy tensed up as she waited for the woman to unleash a mouthful of a rant on her.
“Your boys are so beautiful!” the woman said. Chrissy was nearly speechless in her surprise. Out of all the things she expected the woman to say, that was the last.
“I sure would love to take one home with me,” the woman added. Her eyes sparkled with sincerity and she looked deep into Chrissy’s weary soul.
“I don’t blame you,” Chrissy said, “but I would miss them too much.” She couldn’t help but smile genuinely at the woman. For the rest of her dinner date, Chrissy ate calmly and happily despite the storm.
In the Facebook post where Chrissy shares this story, she says that parents of children with autism should remember that sometimes people aren’t staring in judgment. “It may actually be admiration. I’m thankful for the kind woman who taught me just that.”
Read the full post below:
“There was a long period of time that my husband and I couldn’t go out to dinner with our two boys with autism, because they were just so difficult. As they’ve grown older it’s gotten easier, but we still have our moments. A few weeks ago we went out to eat. We were sitting dangerously close to a small table with two elderly women. Usually they take turns, but this night both Parker and Greyson were in full-blown awful behavior mode. Grey took off his shoes and kept putting his filthy bare feet on the table. Parker repeatedly tried to get down to walk around and would start screaming the second we tried to get him to sit still. We were quite a scene, and several times I noticed the women next to us looking over. As they got up to leave one woman leaned in to say something to me that I knew was going to ruin our evening. My whole body tensed.
‘Your boys are so beautiful’ she said, looking deep into my weary heart. ‘I sure would love to take one home with me’ she said with a twinkle in her eye.
My whole body relaxed. ‘I don’t blame you’ I said, ‘but we would miss them too much’ I told her with a smile. I think it’s important for parents of children with autism to remember- sometimes people aren’t staring in judgement. It may actually be admiration. I’m thankful for the kind woman who taught me just that.”
A Love What Matters Original Story
Submitted by Chrissy Kelly