So, back in the fall, the kids and I went to to the mall to buy new clothes for back to school…simple, right? Oy Vey…I thought so too. But, with a fifteen year old, a twelve year old and a ten year old, well, you never really know what might come up.
It was all going pretty darn well according to mom-standards when we pushed our luck and went into the Vans shoe store. The ten year old wore out four pairs last school year. He is ALL boy, as rough and tumble as they come, and picking out two was a breeze. He had his two picked out in less than a minute. Teal with red laces and red with black laces. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. He is my picky guy so I thought I was home free with his quick choices.
I was absolutely bowled over by what happened next.
It’s funny how autism and a different view of life can totally sneak up on you. Sparkle moments are clever like that. I love these moments but it never ceases to amaze me how much they catch me by surprise. I never see them coming.
Mom: Hey, buddy, what color shoes do you think you want?
My boy: Naw, I’m good.
Mom: What? No Vans?
My boy: Naw, I don’t want any.
Mom: Really? They’re pretty cool.
My boy: Yeah, see, that’s the problem.
Mom: It’s a problem for them to be cool?
My boy: Yeah, cause every day people are telling me how cool my shoes are. “Hey, cool shoes,” or “Hey, I really like your shoes.” I mean they do it all the time. They’re always talking to me about my shoes! It can really start to bug a guy, you know?
Mom: Really? They’re too cool to wear? People like them too much?
My boy: Yep, it bugs me, Mom. I just want them to stop talking about my shoes. You know?
Mom: Yeah. It surprise me but, yeah, I get it.
At this point, when I have all but given up on him getting new shoes, the nice sales guy walks up right after I have stopped speaking. In that moment when my mind is still tumbling over itself with awe and shock for the new lesson I have learned, still trying to process my boy and his feelings, the sales boy steps in with a lovely pair of gray Vans.
The young sales boy tells my son, “You’ll like these. They’re the plainest pair we have. NO one will EVER notice them.”
And, with that, my oldest boy smiled and said, “You’re right. Those are pretty plain. Okay. I’ll take that one.” And he did. He didn’t even try them on.
That day we took home the teal pair, the red pair, the plain gray pair and one happy boy content with the gray pair that would not be on anyone’s radar. And, they all took home a mom that was just a little wiser than when she walked into the Vans store because, truly, my kids keep teaching me new stuff every day. I don’t know what I’ll do if they decide to stop educating me on the finer points of parenting!