I picked Coen up from school around 11:30 am,
School just started back recently on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. After a long Spring and Summer together, I finally gave into allowing him to have McDonald’s. I know what you are thinking, I think it too. Coen is now 11 and this is the first year I have purchased anything but ice cream for any of my grandchildren at McDonald’s.
Anyway, McDonald’s was his choice so off we went. It was a nice day and the sun was shining and it was warm. The line for the drive thru was long and so I was enjoying just sitting in the car with the window down, listening to music and enjoying the sun. Typically, I try to have a little conversation with Coen or sing along to songs from Sesame Street but this day I was quiet and so was he. With how quiet it was, I almost forgot he was back there as I got caught up in the warmth of the sun and the music that was playing.
When we got to the 1st window I said as I sometimes do, “I’d like to buy the person behind me lunch today.” The cashier asked if I knew them. I politely said “no,” and that was that.
She took my card.
I paid and moved up.
I grabbed Coen’s food at the second window,
and we started around the corner.
Out of the blue Coen said, “Gigi, that was nice of you.”
I could not believe my ears!! I said, “Coen, what?” He repeated it. “Oh” I said, “you noticed that?” he didn’t answer…
I got a giant lump in my throat and held back tears. This is so big, for many reasons.
First of all, for those of you who don’t know, Coen has some cognitive delay and is on the autism spectrum. He often speaks in scripts which means he repeats things he hears from his favorite shows like Daniel Tiger and Sid The Science Kid. Honestly, he doesn’t always give an accurate answer to his age when he is asked. Often, he says “One!”
What surprised me so much about his comment was that this was unprompted. There was no discussion about it, it was just a quick, last-minute reaction for me. Coen had to process what was taking place, he had to hear her ask me if I knew them, he had to know and understand what I was doing without talking about it.
He understood this simple act of kindness. This melts my heart and gives me so much hope!
It tells me that maybe we should all just be quietly doing nice things for people around us, not for recognition but to hopefully show someone the meaning. It also shows that kindness is universal and unspoken.