June 09, 2009
Compliments, ME Newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 23
I have some tiny pieces of paper given to me in a high school class. Our assignment was to write one compliment about each class member on a separate piece of paper. The slips were collected and then distributed. Mostly, mine said I had nice eyes, and I was smart. At the time I was thrilled by the compliments. I’ve been getting some very different compliments lately. (Reference: Complimentary, Straight Up, Humor, That’s Random)
But here is the story I want to share this week….
When I get the chance to visit a friend a few towns over, we mostly sit in her kitchen and talk. Her 13-year-old autistic son has never really spoken to me except to say “hello,” usually only after being asked to do so. Once in a while he’ll approach me and repeat verbatim in a true announcer’s voice a commercial about a new video game he would like. She’s told me he has cognitive thoughts and speaks in sentences, but I've never seen it. I fondly remember the absolute joy in her voice when she told me that while they were driving around one day, he had said, “Look, mother. A new building.”
Getting ready for my super-mega, I-still-might-have-to-move-by-the-end-of-the-month garage sale, I decided I had too many big items for sale that I simply did not want to haul outside. So instead, I emptied the living room and dining room, and started setting up my indoor sale.
I had everything sort of well-enough under control, in a minimally scattered and minutely stressful sort of way, when I saw visitors coming up the walk. My friend was progressing slowly due to a box she was carrying. Surprisingly, her son left her in the dust, and came right in by himself. He’d only been at my house once before, yet, he came through like he was on a mission. Which as it turns out, he was: to find Miss Fred.
As he streaked through, it didn’t seem like he’d even noticed my disarray. He never turned his head to check out the mess. He never actually stopped moving past me, but he did toss out an entire questioning sentence: “What got into YOU, Jodi?”
I laughed, as I told his retreating form that I was getting ready to have a yard sale.
“Ha ha! That’s funny!” he said, as he disappeared down the hall to the den.
My first full sentence! Our first discussion!
He used my name. He noticed the changes in my home.
He remembered Miss Fred, and talked to her, too. “Look at the light, kitty!” he said, encouraging her to follow her laser pointer chase toy.
I’m truly honored to be a part of his world, and blessed that he feels comfortable being part of mine. That's a compliment worth saving. I’m still kinda high on it, and as Mark Twain once said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment."
In this issue: Etomology of Compliment, Autism, Robert Brault, Complimentary Journals.
Now posted: : No, No and Yes, Slidell, LA, October 2008
Posted by jaselin at June 9, 2009 12:59 PM