We haven’t been to the kids general pediatrician in a few months. But as I heard CC telling Ace yesterday to “give [his friend] some space and stop calling him so much”, a boy that was at the doctors office a few months ago has crept out of my memory bank.
Jay was sitting in the waiting room playing with his i-Pad and Ace was there playing with his Kindle.
A boy who looked to be about 9 or 10 came and stood just a little too close to Ace and quietly peered down at the Kindle. He only stayed there for a short while before he moved to the other end of the room and watched the cartoons that were showing on the TV.
I knew right then and there.
CC says to me, “That was weird.”
My heart constricted just a little bit. I didn’t respond.
The boy got bored with the cartoons and came back to our area. Apparently Jay had paused whatever game he was playing and without saying anything, the boy leaned over and pressed the “play” button on Jay’s i-Pad and was about to walk away. Jay pressed “pause” again and again the boy pressed “play”. No harm was being done and Jay didn’t seem upset by it, so I didn’t intervene. I let the 2 of them do the pause/play thing.
The boys Mom, who was at the window paying the co-pay while this was going on came hurriedly over. I got the feeling she was used to staying near him so she could jump in and “rescue” people from her son. Without looking at any of us, she asked him “What are you doing?” and then ushered him away from us. I made an awkward attempt to catch her eye so I could smile at her but it didn’t work. I was hoping that she could somehow feel my understanding. I really wanted her to know that it was OK. That we weren’t being bothered. I was hoping to ease some of the discomfort she felt – if she felt any. I tried to look relaxed and put a lot of effort into making sure that nothing about my body language came across as being annoyed or weirded out.
I know that’s all I want when my son gets a little too close to people.
But, much like her, I rarely look at the stranger whose personal space Ace has invaded. I just try to get him away as quickly as possible.
A smile, an understanding look, is just too much to hope for.
Because let’s face it, even though sometimes I forget, in everyone elses world, not giving people their own space or hugging everyone or rubbing peoples arms when you talk to them or jumping onto someone elses mom in the park or climbing up into your teachers lap or using lines from TV to communicate is considered a bit weird.