Monday, September 28, 2015

Dear Mr. Biker Dude

Dear Mr. Biker Dude,

You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you.  My son TJ does, too.

We were in that red car at the red light as you waited to turn left into the shopping center last week - we were opposite you.  We were going straight.  Or we were trying to.

I’m the one who leaned out of my window to talk to you - to plead with you - as you blocked the intersection so your 100 biker friends behind you could turn left into the shopping center after your left turn green had turned red.  After our red light had turned green.

Do you remember us?

You blocked the intersection so no one but your buddies could move.  Was there an emergency at Big Lots you all had to get to in a timely manner?  Were you desperate to get to the bank before it closed in 3 hours?  I’m not sure what the emergency was, but it must have been serious for you to think you all had priority over everyone else on the road that day.

I’m sure you didn’t know that my son TJ, who, to someone who just glances at him as he sits in the front seat or my car, has autism.  

Until I told you, that is.

I’m sure you didn't know that he was having a hard time that day as we sat there, knowing how close to home we were, as I prayed that my son, ticking time bomb that he was, could hold out just a little bit longer until we were safe at home, where he could explode in a safe place.

I’m sure you didn’t know that just about 10 minutes before, we had dropped off his father at the airport, where TJ and I said goodbye to our rock for the next two weeks, after he had just returned home from a week long trip the night before.  That TJ got just a taste of what it was like to have his Dad home again before he left again.  That he feeds off of the energy around him, and that that energy contributes to his moods, his stability, and his success.  At school and in his every day life.

I know for a fact that you didn’t see his tears in his eyes, the ones he tried to hide from me, as we drove away from the airport and headed home.

I also know for a fact that you heard my words as I yelled out the window to you, as you held up your hand to ensure that I would “stop” and not plow you over as you illegally blocked the intersection, “Please please let us go through - my son has autism and I need to get him home.  Please.”

I know that your heart must be black as pitch, which you showed me when you shook your head and replied to me, “That’s too bad.”

Then I started trying to soothe my boy, as he started to shake.  He got scared.  Did you know that?  He said “Mom, why is he mean?  Is he going to hurt us?”

After we got home, and after I gave him some deep pressure to try to comfort his overloaded sensory system, and after he had visibly calmed down, he asked me why bikers were so mean.

“They’re not,” I told him.  “We just happen to come across one who was very mean and selfish.  But TJ, you know Suzi and her husband?  He’s a biker - a really nice one.  Remember when you drew pictures with him?  He’s a great artist, just like you.  And remember Diana?  She and her husband are bikers, and they both are so nice!  Remember when she used to come over to hang out with you and Peter?  We see them at the pool all the time.  They are nice bikers.  They aren’t all mean.  We just had some bad luck today.  Do you understand?”

He did.  He’s amazing like that - he has a tendency to think the best of people until they show him otherwise.

So just in case you were wondering, Mr. Biker Dude, TJ did get scared, but he knows that not all bikers are as mean as you were.  He knows not to judge a group of people by one bad apple.  He knows that you all weren’t going to hurt us, but that you were breaking the law and doing something wrong, and that it’s not an ok thing to do, even though you all didn’t get caught.

He also knows that you have a very small mind and a very small heart.  And maybe that’s just my angry influence on his opinion, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

I hope to never see you again,


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