Six-year old Andrew and I stepped into the hearth room at the church. The place was fully buzzing with movement, noise, activity, and voices. This was the day we’d been talking about together for almost a month. The day that we could help make some food (sack lunches) for the kitchen of the Salvation Army. Or, as Andrew put it “today’s the day we make food for the friends who don’t have enough”. I wasn’t sure at first that the hubbub would be the best situation for him. Most often, a room full of loud voices and multiple bodies in close proximity throws Andrew. He finds himself highly stressed and uncomfortable; overstimulated to be exact. The result of such a push past his boundaries is never easy to predict or manage. But he seemed determined, so we joined the fray.
As I helped him pull oversized blue latex gloves onto his small hands, the glove tips extending past his fingertips by four inches, I asked him gently “are you ready for this?”
“Oh, yeah”, He said, “this is the best day of my life!”
Then, hand in blue gloved hand we stepped up together. We had things to do, people to help, peanut butter sandwiches to make. Side by side, he and I worked together for the next 30 minutes, bagging sandwiches and laughing up a storm. He said “go team Mom” and I said “go team Andrew” then, soon enough, the work was done. I told him he’d done a great job, I told him I was really proud of him, I told him he was a good kid, I told him I thought the friends would be really happy with their food.
He told me “those friends are gonna like their sandwich.” And then he asked “can we do that again tomorrow?”