He didn't notice her. She had hid herself out of his view. Her very presence annoyed me. We are in ths Pittsburg Mills Mall having lunch at Johnny Rockets. It's early Wednesday afteroon and we had arrived at our hotel in Butler with loads of time on our hands. This mall had a store we were looking for (Brookstones) so we decided to drive the nearly thirty miles to have lunch, shop and then meander back to the hotel.
We love Johnny Rockets, a burger joint that offers vegetarian options on all their burgers, and we always look for it when we are travelling. There is an elderly woman in the wheelchair blocking the entrance way so we have to scoot around the side of another table, moving all sorts of chairs. She doesn't notice and we don't mind, she is deep in friendship with the other woman and they talk, gossip and laugh through their entire lunch. I'm not sure that they were aware that there was a world outside thier relationship at that moment.
They set up Johnny Rockets to have a place where take out orders and be made or picked up. A young man, maybe 13 or 14 is nervously approaching the counter. When he gets closer we can see that he has Down Syndrome and he is entirely focused on getting to the counter an placing his order. A bright young thing of a waitress approaches him and saks 'what are you having honey'. His face screws up at the word 'honey' but he proceeds to order. He begins with ordering a vanilla shake, she asks him 'what size' and he's momentarily confused. She shows him the two sizes and he picks the bigger one. Then he orders fries. 'Do you want a burger?' 'No, nothing else."
A pretty normal exchange except that his mother was hiding behind him, watching. When he finsihed his order she had returned to a table in the food court where she was talking and laughing with friends. I made a snide comment to Joe about her stalking her own son. He looked at me surprised and said, "Weren't you watching her?" I admitted I had not, I was watching the boy. "She wasn't watching him, she was watching the staff, once she saw that they were going to treat him ok, she left. She trusted him, it was the waitstaff she didn't trust."
OK, Mom, I'm sorry - we live in a world where trusting others is a real issue.
But at least you can trust your son.
But now he needs to learn to watch others as carefully as you do. Because ultimately, that's his job.