Monday, March 8, 2010

Do you really have it?

This past Saturday night, my family and I were on our way to dinner. I mentioned I was busy the next day volunteering with a friend. Specifically, we were going to spend the day being buddies with an autistic child.

My sister asked me, "Do you have the patience for that?"

I pondered, "Hm, possibly, I'll find out tomorrow."

Now for those who don't know, children with autism vary in symptoms. Our child did not communicate nor listen well, in addition to being impulsive at times.

My friend and I figured we would encounter a few difficulties, but nothing extremely troubling.

Sparing the details of the 5 hours we spent with him, let me just say that:
  • You don't know patience if you haven't had to prevent a kid from jumping off a dive board into the deep end of a pool and you don't know how to swim.
  • If you have to sprint for a kid who's running towards a street at an oncoming car.
  • If you try getting him to eat anything.
  • If you keep him from running away to who knows where (indoors or outside).
  • Finding ways to make him happy while keeping yourself calm.
Now, I'm not saying a person has to go through these exact situations, but those who have gone through very stressful experiences know what I'm talking about.

It's tough.

4pm rolled around and his family picked him up and off they went.

With that done, my friend and I hugged then got the hell out of there.

We survived. It was a long day.

Do I have patience?

No, I don't.

Want to know who does?

His family. They spend everyday together.

And you know what?

They love him.

That's patience.


  1. seriously Niel, that is patience. I dont know what i'd do without you that day but i am so glad you were there. and you are so right about the last one...."trying to make him happy whilst keeping urself calm"....seriously that summed up everything.

    a serious life lesson that we learned that day: to be appreciative of everything

  2. Actually, the life lesson was that any time you ask me to do something with you is to reply "Sorry, but I'm busy."

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Too sweet Niel. My best friend from middle school had a brother with autism and I know it was really hard for them.

  4. Kim, it was probably one of the hardest things we've done. Well definitely for me at least.

  5. So awesome of you and your friend to volunteer your time like that, Niel. Dope read, indeed!

  6. It was one of the hardest things I've done so far. I'm not sure if I'd do it again, but it was one hell of an experience.

    Thanks for coming by Roger, always appreciate it.


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