Saturday was quite the day.
My daughter Anna just celebrated a milestone birthday, and to mark the occasion, I took her, her brother and her best friend to an indoor waterpark for the day. We closed the place down, and took our tired and hungry selves off to a big chain buffet-style restaurant that happened to be across the street for dinner.
The hostess seated us at a table next to two boys who were around Anna’s age - probably no more than 14. David was sitting next to me facing them and they were laughing at him and making fun of him because he was acting sort of goofy. He was having tremendous fun playing with the stuffed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle that his sister won for him in the claw machine.
I was trying to ignore the boys for the most part until I saw one of them take his phone out and take a picture over his shoulder. Sure enough, I can see the idiot's screen and he took a couple of pictures of David and now he and his buddy are really laughing, scrolling through them.
I will tell you now that hell hath no fury like an autism Mom who just watched you belittle and then TAKE A PICTURE of her kid. Especially when said kid turns to her and says "Those boys are hurting my feelings."
Oh, yes.it got ugly. I laid a verbal smackdown on those boys that I hope will eat into their measly, mean little minds for decades. I let them know it was not okay to make fun of anyone, especially when that someone might have a social disability that makes it hard for them to fit in sometimes. I let them know that it is most assuredly NEVER okay to photograph someone's kid without obtaining permission first. Then I rounded it up by pointing out that the two girls with their backs to them were close to their age, and pretty, but they were photographing a ten year old boy instead, like a couple of creeps. They apologized profusely, deleted all the pics in front of me and apologized some more.
I turned on my heel to go, knowing that I really got to them, when Anna took her hood down from her hoodie jacket, tossed her long, silky blonde hair back, and turned around to look at them.
The ringing voice of authority might have put the fear of God in those boys, but one cannot overstate the power of a look of scathing contempt leveled by a hot girl your own age. I sat back down and she said to me simply, "Mom, can I go punch one in the face? Please?"
That's my girl. I told her not to soil her hand.
You’re wondering where the parents were, aren’t you? Yes, I wondered the same. Perhaps they were there, sitting somewhere else in the restaurant. It’s more than likely that boys were there with a group that was at the water park, as we’d seen several buses when we arrived. I considered tracking down the adult in charge but the place was mobbed, I had a sad little boy who was wondering what he did wrong, and a bloodthirsty girl who was ready to do violence. I figured I'd better stay put and just keep glaring at them, intermittently.
Which I did. A lot.
I also spent the rest of our meal reassuring David that it wasn't his fault those boys were mean.
We got home, and by then David was fine, and since Anna’s friend was sleeping over, I decided David and I were having a sleepover, too. So we snuggled in my big bed and we watched “Frozen” and we sang along, and he fell asleep with his head on my shoulder, not realizing for a moment that his mother very nearly did violence to a child that evening.
And not realizing, as well, how very sorry his mother was. Those boys apologized so profusely to her, but she was so angry, she didn’t think to have them apologize to the one person they should have apologized to.
The person that she was trying to get them to see as a person in the first place.