Red-haired Boy


Nothing like a reality check before Liev’s evaluation. Keeping in line with my decision to keep Liev as active as possible, I have been going out with him twice a day. Our morning was outstanding. We started with a trip to Market Basket. He was jolly and mischievous, taking great pleasure in pushing over cereal boxes and crying “Cutooze!”

No fussing or whining for souska. We weighed fruits and veggies, which delighted him. We went to Wasserman Park afterward. I met another mother with a couple of girls. She was about my age and a pleasure to chat with. Liev liked the younger of her two daughters and even ran up to her and said, “Hi kid!” with the sweetest expression on his face! My heart melted! He walked back to the car holding my hand with no complaints or tears! What a great day!

After his afternoon rest, we ran an errand and stopped by Veterans Park for ten minutes on the big slide (it is the park on YouTube). We had been there for five minutes when a man drove up with his enormous red-haired son. The boy clambered on the play set and shouted “Eeeee-eeee!” startling me. He started to rock and “eee-eee,” climbing on top of the play tunnel. I could not hide my shock, but realizing that the child had autism, I tried to be polite and not whisk Liev away.

The father awkwardly tried to make conversation but I was too distracted by his teenage son swinging and whooping near my toddler.  Liev initially seemed okay, but the kid scared him and he began to cry and shriek.  I had to leave. I pitied the father who had to hustle his son back to the car as Liev screamed bloody murder. I felt conflicted. On one hand, the autistic boy needed to play and have fun too, but heavens, didn’t the father realize that his child would frighten such a young child? I would have appreciated a word from him, perhaps to reassure me that Liev was safe.

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