Advice in a Supermarket

You never know what you might find at the supermarket. Like the other day for instance, when I was out grocery shopping, which I now pretty much consider a “vacation”. I was in the canned vegetable aisle looking at what beans I could purchase with WIC (yep, cause we’re doing what we can but we’re still poor). An associate stocking the shelves across from me noticed my WIC book and asked, “Pregnant? Or have you already had one?”. “I have one.” While I was hoping I didn’t honestly still look pregnant, he mentioned he had seven kids. SEVEN KIDS.

So I told him he ought to write a book cause he probably knows more than a lot of people. “Would you like a parenting tip?”, he asked, and of course I did because I need all the help I can get. “Just trust your instincts.”, he said. “But I don’t have any instincts.” “You do, they’ll come out.” I said something like “You don’t understand–I don’t have instincts for anything. I’m high-functioning Autistic. Asperger’s.” He said, “Really? I have Aspergers!” OH. Here was a guy who managed to be raising SEVEN KIDS–with Aspergers. He also told me he was about 48, but he looked about 38, which must be another common Aspie trait. (I haven’t physically changed much from age 15, minus some baby fat and plus some stress lines, so that’s how old I look to some people. )

We talked for a few minutes in the middle of the store while he filled shelves, about how we frustrated our bosses and how he handled kids. Hearing advice from someone similar to me who obviously was managing fine, and finding a kindred soul in such a random place, was a bit of an eye-opener to me. I DID have instincts, however shaky I was in discovering them. We are different but we are human beings, we have the instincts we need when it comes down to it. Can I decipher “Waaaahhh” from “Aaaaaaah”? Nope. But I do rush to that kiddo the second I think something is wrong with her. We aren’t “broken”, we can do what’s best for our kids. Aspies just need a little more help, time, confidence and information than some. So keep an eye out, you never know what friendly soul might be out there that does know just what you’re going through.

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