To the Lady in the Food Court: Thank God You're Not Her Mother

4 years ago

An open letter to to the lady at the mall (you know who you are).

Dear ignoramus, a.k.a dumb lady,

I heard you loud and clear. I heard you above the screaming of my child (she was quite loud) in the noisy food court. If you happen across this blog, you know who you are. You are the person who said to her friend "If that were my daughter..." You might remember me because I actually stopped for a second at your table looked you in the eye and proudly stated, "That is my daughter and she is autistic."

I really should have said more, but I was hurrying to get to her and help calm her down. My husband was there trying to calm her and deal with the other two, and frankly, my family is much more important than you. But now I have the time and the words to say what I wanted to say at that moment.

Thank God, she is not your child! Thank God she is my child! I hate to think how awful her life would be with a woman like you as her parent. Throughout my time as her mother, I have heard people tell me how fortunate Rachel is because I "get it," because I was a special education teacher long before I was a mother and am equipped to be her parent. I have often doubted this insight because parenting is tough, and nothing can really prepare you for being a mother.

However, you have helped me to really see that Rachel is better off with me as her mom. Not because I have a degree in special education, but because I am able to see past people like you who judge. I can look you in the eye and proudly state, "I am her mother, and I am a damn good one too!"

Photo Credit: sfllaw.

I can now take the time to tell you how stupid you looked to other people in that food court who understood what was really happening. They saw how I was able to calm her down in seconds by giving her a bear hug and helping her cover her eyes and ears to the sensory chaos that she was experiencing. They saw my four-year-old sitting patiently while I tended to Rachel's needs. They saw you fussing and fretting over something that lasted all of 30 seconds.

Twenty minutes later, as my family was finishing up at the table, an extremely nice women and her teenage son came over to tell us what a beautiful family we had and how crazy you were. Can you believe that? My 10-year-old daughter screams at a mall, and you are the one who ends up looking awful.

Thank God you are not her mother.

her mother

originally posted at

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