My cell phone rang this morning and although it was a number I did not recognize, I decided to take the calculated risk, and answered it anyway.
It was a mom RSVPing for Wyatt’s birthday party.
“Hi, I am Raquel, Joshua’s mom; I was calling about Wyatt’s party.”
I returned the salutation.
Then she sounded a little embarrassed when she added, “Did you know that Joshua has autism?”
I said we knew that but that Wyatt considers Joshua a friend – with or without autism. “On some level, he gets that Joshua is different,” I told her, “but he really doesn’t mind.”
I continued my ramble in an effort to close the deal, “Wyatt talks about Joshua at home. They walked next to each other on the way to the post office field trip.”
What happened next was totally unexpected.
There was silence, which I assumed was due to her weighing the decision in her mind. But a few seconds later I learned it was the silence that accompanies the beginning of a good cry – you know if you open your mouth your voice will be high pitched and the words will come out all jumbly.
She finally said, “I’m sorry… I am crying. This is the first birthday party Joshua has ever been invited to.”
Although I do not have a child with autism, I recognized the tears over the phone. Mom Tears.
The heart of a mother is directly connected to the tear ducts.
I respected the pureness of the moment – each of Raquel’s tiny droplets carried with it the massive weight of pain and worry, diluted by happiness and relief, propelled by a tender love only a mother knows.
She shared some of the contents of her heart with me, the deep desire for her son to have a friend one day. I tried to be a good listener and learn what I could from the contents of her heart.
She apologized again for the tears. It was a personal moment between mothers. I was certain the words collected and delivered between cell phones must have been adding quite a twinkle to the satellites in outer space.
“Joshua has a therapy appointment at the same time as the party, but I am going to cancel it, because I think this is more important,” Raquel said.
“A birthday party trumps everything”, I laughed. And then she laughed too, before we said goodbye.
Although the call ended, I imagined her cheeks were still damp and the universe still had a new twinkle
And me… I had goodie bags to fill.