At church on Sunday, I had to take my Very Active Baby into the back because he was being Very Active Indeed. Tarzan himself would have look on in envy of the baby’s technique as he swung from parent to parent.
While in the back, of course, the baby planted himself in the back entrance, sitting on the carpet and looking out, hair waving in the breeze, waving whenever a car passed.
A family arrived late to church: an older couple and a girl who looked to be fourteen years old. She wore a dress and had sunglasses that she half-wore, half-dangled. She was talking loudly, and the parents were trying to quiet her. Immediately I thought, “Autism,” and I was impressed that they were bringing her. I know some families with an autistic child have found it impossible to attend as a family because there’s simply too much stimulation at Mass.
At the Sign of Peace, I snuck back up to where my family was seated, and the other family had taken a place right in front of ours. The young lady turned to me to shake my hand, and she said, “I love your outfit!”
(I think she was referring to the Mayawrap. Mine looks like this:)
Then she turned back to me and said, “You’re so pretty.”
I complimented her in return, but she was so thrilled, so pleased. Church was, apparently, wonderful, and here she was surrounded by stylish and beautiful people.
Just for the record, before I walked out of t he house yesterday, I looked at my hair and thought, “I’m the Frizzie Queen.” There are some days you know you look okay, and other days when you know you don’t. I was dressed for church (skirt, blouse, Mayawrap) but I certainly wasn’t beautiful.
She wasn’t lying, though: the compliment had burst out from the center of her. She didn’t want anything from me. She wasn’t trying to bolster my self-esteem.
It took me by surprise because I’m not the kind of person you stop in the grocery store aisle to admire. She’s one of maybe ten people in my life who’ve ever said that at all.
Her parents were embarrassed. I was just impressed by the blessing of a young lady who had no idea that what she’d said was either an embarrassment to her parents or a blessing to me.