*Edit* There was a boy with Autism at the restaurant the other day...
Well, this blew up, lol! Take a few days off from CM, come back with 99+ replies, lol.
Anyhow, to all the ladies who said "thank you for sharing", you're welcome! :) I thought sharing my experience would be a pleasant departure from the typical MC content.
To those of you who are saying it reinforced bad behavior, or that it was rude to ask someone for the balloon... I think you're missing the point of the story. I don't know if it was beneficial or not from a behavioral standpoint to give the child the balloon - I'm not his doctor. However, the point of the story was to show the importance of having some damn compassion for our fellow moms every once in a while, instead of constantly tearing each other down.
This mother looked like she was at her breaking point. However, someone decided to try and help her, instead of act rude towards her or try to push her out the door. Someone tried to show her that they might understand how she feels, which - to any mother of a child who's a little different - is such a big deal. My son isn't autistic, but he is SN... our struggles are different, but there have been times when I've been overwhelmed, and the kindness of a stranger was exactly what I needed.
My husband and I were at On the Border for date night the other week, getting our margarita and brisket taco on. Place was packed, and a few tables down, there was a mom and her son with who appeared to be with a couple of her friends. It was obvious that the son was autistic, and you could tell that his mother was exasperated, but trying her best to keep him focused on his meal.
A few minutes in, a family came and sat at the booth next to theirs... they had a couple balloons as it appeared to be someone's birthday celebration. The boy saw the balloons, and he wanted the balloons. At this point, he began getting very noisy, and most of the restaurant was turned and staring at him. Mom looked like she might cry.
I watched as a woman got up and started heading towards their table. I thought for sure she was going to ask the mom to leave (she was about to anyway... she was gathering her things and saying bye to her friends, all while trying to get her son to calm down. When she saw the woman come towards her, she automatically started apologizing to her - it was apparent that this wasn't the first time she was asked to leave a restaurant because of him.
Instead, the woman went to the table next to theirs and asked if she could have one of their balloons. They were facing away, so I guess they didn't realize that's what the boy wanted. They gladly gave one to the woman, who then handed it to the boy, which put just the hugest smile on his face. Then, the woman gave the mom a hug and said something to her... I have no clue what she said, but Mom was smiling and thanking her and just looked so relieved.
Anyway, there's no real point to this story, but it just warmed my heart to see the kindness of strangers, you know? I'm so used to seeing people be rude, uncaring, and somewhat downright hateful about these kinds of things... it was just refreshing to see someone understand the plight of others, I guess!