Yesterday at the supermarket checkout we were in a big hurry. We needed to be home in time to get our daughter Danielle off the school bus. We have gotten good at this race to get home as we have been running it for years. Although Danielle is well into her teenage years it is still necessary to meet her when the bus drops her off from school. That is because she has autism and is unable to care for herself or be home alone.
So in our house every school day one of us needs to be home at 2:15 to greet the bus. Yesterday was one of those near misses. The store was particularly crowded. We were doing our usual surveying of the available checkout lines to see which would move the fastest. Well, we thought that we had made the correct choice but boy were we ever wrong! The lady in front of us had a huge stack of coupons, the cashier ran out of tape and then the tape malfunctioned. This caused the cashier to put her blinking light on so someone would come to help her. Nervously, we glanced at the clock and could see how late it was getting. At one point we wondered if it would be necessary to abandon our groceries all together and dash home. It is times like these that we wish there was a checkout lane with a sign above it that said "This lane is reserved for special needs parents who are in a big hurry." That would be nice!
The month of April is dedicated to promoting Autism Awareness. It is a time to highlight how autism continues to shape the lives of people affected by it, how far our children have come, but also the everyday challenges that parents of children with disabilities face such as beating the school bus home in time. Daily stresses like that can get to you and wear you down, even when some of the really big stuff has begun to stabilize and things are going better, at least for now. This is where faith comes in, and prayer.
Well, we made it home with our groceries with 10 minutes to spare. Too close for comfort, but we made it. So the next time you are in a checkout lane and you notice someone in line looking nervously at the clock, remember they may be in a hurry to beat the bus home too.
Copyright 2016 David and Mercedes Rizzo.
All photos copyright 2016 David and Mercedes Rizzo. All rights reserved.
About the Author
David and Mercedes write and speak from a faith perspective as parents of a child with autism. They are available to speak, and have appeared on radio and other media. Visit DavidAndMercedesRizzo.com to learn more. Follow them on Facebook at Autism With The Rizzos. Authors of Praying For Your Special Needs Child, (Word Among Us Press) and Spiritually Able and The Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit (Loyola Press).