Namaste

For years, having company over to our house was very difficult for our oldest. Social anxiety made welcoming new folks very, very challenging. Once, after days of preparation, he greeted our college friend, Anne, and her family with a big ole’ smile, our visual timer in hand, and this welcome: “Hi. It’s nice to meet you. This is my visual timer. It’s set for 10 minutes. When the time is up, it will be time for you to leave.” Without missing a beat, Anne smiled and said, “Well, let’s make the most of the time we have!” They stayed over two hours, and we all enjoyed it.

More recently, Bobby invited a colleague over for supper. He was visiting from India, and Bobby felt like we needed to host him. I agreed, although with great trepidation. Our oldest had come such a long, long way, but still, I was hesitant. The day of the dinner went well until Eli the dog ran away, the baby decided to be nap-free, and I somehow ended up jumping in the shower when Bobby and his colleague were just miles from our house. When they arrived, I greeted them with wet hair and wine. Our son walked in the kitchen. Bobby introduced them, and our son said, “Namaste.” I glanced at Bobby, both of us wide-eyed and smiling, and when our guest bowed slightly and replied “Namaste,” our boy said, “How are you?” in Hindi. With tears in his eyes, our guest said, “How do you know my native language?” Our son said, “I figured that since you were so far from home, you might enjoy being greeted in your home language. I learned it on Google Translate and practiced this afternoon.”

The same boy who struggled to let anyone in to his world years ago made our guest feel more welcomed than anyone ever could. Bobby and I were so moved, so surprised, and so very, very proud. Our guest and our son became fast friends, with an evening full of question/answer exchanges about India. It was a magical evening, all because of our boy.

Later that night, Bobby and I reminisced on our evening. We talked about our son’s challenges, but also his gifts. We decided that God had shown us a beautiful glimmer of who He’s created our son to be. Quirky? Sometimes. Big-hearted? Yes. Hospitable and THOUGHTFUL? Yes!! That night, our prayer was that we could all be a little bit more like him.

16 thoughts on “Namaste

    1. bethpatterson Post author

      Thanks so much Courtney- it’s been fun, and encouragement like this means the world to me when I’m feeling a wee bit vulnerable and wondering what the heck I was thinking…

      Hope the start of the school year has been smooth for everyone under your roof… wine soon??? 🙂 Hugs-

      Reply
  1. Angela Olson

    You, my dear, are a treasure! Always have been, always will be. Thank you for sharing “your world”, your wit, and your wisdom with us. Im looking forward to more in the future 🙂 Huge hug!

    Reply
    1. Margery

      Beth, I love this story! Would it be ok if I share this with some people I know? It gives a quick glimpse into some of the difficulties of ASD and yet also shows the treasure of the human beyond the diagnosis. I’m pretty sure there’s some fingerprints on how God created you to be Joe’s mom. I love the lens through which you see the world. Please keep sharing!! Life is messy (every day!) but there is so much beauty, too. You are inspiring me. GL, Margery

      Reply
      1. bethpatterson Post author

        Aw, Margery, thanks so much for the encouragement! Please feel free to share my story with others. It’s been a long and sometimes difficult road with Joe, and yet so beautiful too, as you said. It’s become easier to see beyond Joe’s diagnosis- and life is so rich when we do that! An upcoming post is “Name First, Please…” addressing folks who call kids “the Asperger’s kid” (yuck), the Downs Syndrome girl, the ADHD boy… curls my toes just to type. Yes, it will be a soapbox piece.. :). Hope you, Matt and your girls are all well- Peace and thanks to you-

        Reply
    2. bethpatterson Post author

      Aw, sweet Angela, thank you so much for your encouragement!! That means so much to me. I’ve been feeling nudged, by God and others, to share some of my heart and humor in print to bring hope/humor to others… God made me a wordy girl- hope He’s okay with this. AND let’s face it… having a child is a GOLDMINE for material, huh?? 🙂 Hugs and love to you and your guys-

      Reply
  2. Tanya

    AHHHHHH so touching…love it when I already have heard the story as well as new ones…Sweet words to my ears always!

    Keep it up lady,
    X0

    Reply
    1. bethpatterson Post author

      Thanks so much sweet Tan! Just trying to put my heart in print to share with others in hopes of bringing either hope or humor (or both??) to their days. God made me a chatty girl… just trying to make it count for Him… thanks for the encouragement! Love you-

      Reply
  3. Andrea Turnquist

    Ok- I have to comment on this one too! When God created Joe, he looked all around the world for the most perfect mommy and daddy- the ones that could love him like no other- and share the joys and challenges with wisdom, hope and faith. YOU were chosen by GOd because YOU (with God’s grace) have all that Joe needs. What an honor to be his Mama! What an amazing kid God gave to YOU!

    Reply
    1. bethpatterson Post author

      Okay, I’m saving your words for the hard days, Andrea. Thank you for these beautiful words- I will remember them always- Love and thanks to you-

      Reply
  4. Courtney Jones

    Hi Beth!
    Haven’t talked to you in years, but from the sound of your posts, sounds like life in the Patterson family is fantastically fun! Thanks for the giggles and your glimmers of wisdom. I esp loved this post about Zach’s ole buddy. Remember all of the shaving cream the boys had fun with at your place. Wow… times are flying! Thanks for posting and giving us all a pause to consider our blessings! Love, Courtney

    Reply
    1. bethpatterson Post author

      Oh, Courtney… what a sweet treat to hear from you!! Would you believe that Joe has been bugging me to get back in touch with you so that he could be in touch with Zach? He was very impressed that Zach has learned so many digits of pi :). We’ve so loved hearing from y’all at CMas time. I’m still working on my letter from 3 years ago :). Anyhoo, I’m thrilled to be back in touch, and deeply touched by your encouragement as I try my hand at blogging. Thank you so very much- blessings to you and yours- Love, Beth

      Reply

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