I was also struck by the fact that Finley pointed it out--I assumed he thought all kids wore braces like him, because he's never known anything different. But he was so excited to see another kid with shoes like him, I guess he does know it's a little different. Because even thought he's always worn them, he's never seen any one else wear them. I teared up a little bit seeing him point out the other little girl, but before I could share a special moment with him, he was trying to do a handstand in the booth. Seriously.
While we were in the play place, Braden was crawling around and trying to eat trash, pretty much the usual. I was standing a few feet away when another little boy kicked him over. Yep, another child kicked my baby over. I immediately grabbed Braden (who hadn't even noticed) and tried to talk to the kid. My favorite thing to do is yell at middle schoolers, so it took some restraint to try and talk to him psuedo-nicely. He ignored me and pushed past me to run up the play place. I told him that I'd talk to his parents when they came in. Sure enough, his parents came in a minute later and asked what had happened. I told them, and they apologized kindly and explained that he has autism. And then I wanted to run away and hide. After quite a few attempts they got the little boy to come down and kinda apologize, but I'm pretty sure I did more of the apologizing. It was kind of terrible.
I'm telling you all this because I'm kind of an over-sharer and because I pretty much read this whole blog a few weeks ago. It made me think a lot about how to interact with kids who are different. The author spotlights different special needs kids and always asks how the parent would like their kiddo to be treated in public. Overwhelmingly, the parents said to talk to their kid like a regular little person. The blog is really a great one to follow--but have some tissues handy.
I hope Finley grows into a kid who is sensitive with others' differences and can handle them with grace. And I'm so grateful Finley has grown into a little boy who likes to draw starting lines in the sand, say "get ready, get set, go!" and run races on the beach. And that his feet are strong enough to carry him.