Genevieve Lynne
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Box of Expectations

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I knew when I went to pick Wade up after church on Sunday that things had not worked out like he'd hoped. For the last two weeks, he and one of his buddies from the special needs ministry had been bringing and playing with their Mixels. Don't ask me what Mixels are. They're like little creatures. They're sold by the Lego company, therefore I hate them. But when I got to the room, his Mixels were still in the Sketchers box he had packed them in the night before, and he was sitting in a chair in the corner with his eyes closed. He didn't have to tell me what happened; I knew. His friends hadn't come, and he was so disappointed.

When he saw me, he stood up, picked up his box of Mixels and walked out of the room without saying a word. When we got outside it was raining, so I handed him his umbrella and he walked on ahead of me, still without saying a word. It was a poignant moment for me, walking behind him, watching him carry his umbrella and his box of expectations out into the rain because somehow I understood exactly how he felt. And that happens so rarely.

I cherish those glimpses into Wade's humanity, when I'm somehow able to scale the wall of his autism and look down into the deep sea of his soul. Because when I do that, I see a reflection myself. I see that we're not so different, afterall. I see that he has just as much to teach me as I do him. I, too have been known to pack up my expectations into a little box and carry them around with me. I, too, have felt the disappointment when my hopes weren't met. I, too, have had to pack it up, take it home, and listen to someone tell me, "Maybe next time."

I guess, when you think about it, can't we all relate to a boy who's carrying his unopened box of expectations out into the rain, even if he is autistic?