Just to mark the page! A few things to mention but for another day. All well, thank God.
I attended a Mass yesterday along with some friends. Sat in the seats and, as they say, had view from the pew. Quite a different experience in many ways. The priest spoke well, on the theme of needing and creating silence.
Ironically that silence was shattered by the screaming of a child. I’ve heard screaming but this was at a level and intensity I’ve seldom encountered in church. The child remained in situ and the screaming continued. At first it was very uncomfortable and, like many I imagine, I wondered why the child was not taken outside to calm down.
Then I remembered reading words written by the mother of a child living with autism. She described one incident when she took her son to the supermarket. As she left the shop, bags in one hand and her child’s hand in the other she felt resistance. The child held onto the shop door. She asked him to let go but he intensified his grip. Then he began to scream. She pleaded with him but to no avail. He kicked and lashed out at her, all the while screaming and refusing to let go of the door. Then the handle of one of her shopping bags snapped, the contents tumbling out on the ground. As she tried to gather them she saw feet in front of her. She looked up to see a man standing there. He said “You would do well to put some manners on your child”. He walked away and left her speechless and broken. She realised he saw a bold child but she lived with a different reality. She said she collapsed on the ground and cried.
I thought of that woman at Mass yesterday and wondered how often have I misunderstood the screams we sometimes hear – the tantrums we sometimes observe?