The best of intentions and all. You're just being amusing, sharing how you were minding your own business, being pious and all (perhaps reading the good book in 90 days isn't the best way to learn about what Jesus would do. To be fair, neither was the six hours of bible I took when I earned my bachelor's degree). You relate how good your children are and tell an amusing story about a little girl who wants to use the computer. You describe her in detail, noting her flapping, her toe bouncing, and her repetitive comments about being patient. You say repeatedly that you remember it's not your child, so it's not your business, but you make sure to place the judgment that Grandma's being less than helpful at controlling the child and you feel the grandma's trying to be pushy to get you to get your kids off the computer. You don't ask, you don't let the grandma know they just got on. Instead you write:
"The flapping intensified until I thought we all might witness the first recorded occurence of self propelled human flight. There was much more loud talk of “patience” and at this point I seriously considered jabbing a ball point pen into my eyeball to distract me from the temptation to address the situation in a less than patient manner. I immediately thought better of it because that would have made driving home very difficult, not to mention the mess of all that eyeball juice."
When commenters tell you rather kindly that it really sounds like the child had autism and that this behavior might have been a huge accomplishment, you get defensive and close the comments down. When bloggers find out about this post and begin to write response blogs and email you, you take your blog down and write this:
"It has come to my attention that my motives are being slandered because of what I meant to be a humorous look at life around me."
"I will not be responding to emails or attacks on Twitter, personal blogs, or forums."
I took the time last night to write you a heartfelt, and for me, restrained email about how big an accomplishment it was for my three to be able to go out with me to Walmart, how proud I was that they can navigate the experience without meltdowns, how hard it was when my oldest was little and we went out.
I wrote you that reading your post, I was sure mothers who had children on the spectrum had immediately recognized that little girl, and that reading your post, hearts undoubtedly cracked.
You could have chosen to take this as an opportunity to show grace, compassion, empathy. You could have used it as a learning experience. You could have apologized for any pain your pen-in-the-eyeball post caused.
You didn't, and I have no doubt that many of us felt our hearts crack wider at reading your update today.
We work hard for our children to help them navigate the wider world successfully, and there is a fair amount of heartache involved in these endeavors when we see them rejected, when we see their tremendous accomplishments belittled and made fun of. And we pray that they will not notice the looks or the whispers or the rejections. But we notice. Each and every time, we notice and our hearts break for our children. For others who experience this fundamental rejection.
But we also buckle down, realize we've got more work to do to make this world more accepting of our children and other people's children. And we don't do it with false piety, either, or a martyr-me this attitude. We recognize that we are frail, we are human, we are flawed. When we make mistakes, we take a big gulp, we look at ourselves, we admit the error and we resolve to do better. We move forward.
So, it's okay that you don't want to respond. It's okay that you want to self-justify this as a being slandered. You were just being funny. That's all. How dare moms get bent out of shape because we recognized that you were being funny about a child like our own. You know, one of God's children.
"Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me." Matthew 25:40