Recently, I was at a bar in Middletown and met this woman who was celebrating her 37th birthday. I started talking to her, and realized that she was going to be one of "those people" who I may never see again, but who would touch my life in a way that I wasn't expecting. We talked about my plans post-graduation, about her experiences as a writer and a mother. She has two children, one of whom is a 10 year old boy with Asperger Syndrome. We talked about him for a long time. Not too long ago, he told her that he didn't want to live anymore. That it was too hard. I thought she may have been tearing up, but I couldn't tell for sure. I wanted to hug her and tell her that everything would be alright. That he would grow up and probably do amazing things with his IQ of 134. But, we were in a bar and it was 1 am, and her husband and the couple she was out with were all trying to have a good time and celebrate her birthday.
I really connected with this woman. Even though I was 3 years old when she graduated from high school, I felt like she was an old friend I hadn't seen in a long time and we were just catching up. She told me about how she is a writer- she writes children's books. I don't think she's had any published yet, but she's working on that. We talked about how she was an elementary education major, and felt like she knew A LOT about children. So, when she had her son, she expected it to be a piece of cake. But it wasn't, because he was an inconsolable infant and was confusing for her and her husband. She told me that he was God's way of saying to her, "You don't know everything, I'm throwing you a curve ball!" It sounds like after 10 years, she is able to accept that for what it is. I'm proud of her for that.
I don't ever want to forget her, or her son. I wish I could meet him, he sounds amazing.
Sometimes when people start talking to me, I could just listen forever. I don't get bored, and even if I can't relate, I'm usually able to put myself in their shoes and imagine their situation from that point in their life.