Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Red Shirt

Last night, I was showing Shaggy a nice collared shirt I picked up for him on my second run of the day to our local consignment store. I thought it would go nicely with the shorts he'd purchased that morning and wondered why he hadn't seen it when he was looking himself. After all, we were there for quite a while with our friends earlier.

Shaggy answered my question: "Oh. I think I did pick up that shirt and look at it. That's when that random guy hugged me."

"WHAT?! A random guy hugged you in the middle of the store?" I went into Momma Lion mode.

"Yeah, he was an older, mentally disabled guy who was shopping with his mom or something."

"Oh. Were you okay with that?" I inquired, wondering how it all transpired.

"Yeah. We were looking through the racks and all of a sudden he was right there. He asked us all our names and when I said, 'Hi, I'm Shaggy,' I stuck my hand out to shake his. He pulled me into a hug before I knew it."

Cracking a smile, I asked Shaggy what happened next.

"Then we were in another part of the aisle and I was looking at that shirt. When I turned around, he was right there behind me again. He said, 'Hi, I'm Frank. What's your name?' with his hand stuck out to shake and I said, 'Hi, I'm Shaggy,' and I reached to shake his hand." Shaggy stuck his hand out and made a tentative squinty kind of face, showing us how he was reciprocating Frank's shake.

Laughing fully by this time, I waited for Shaggy to continue...

"He hugged me again."

Somewhat sheepishly, he continued, "I was so rattled, I put the shirt back."

Although it was a funny re-telling of what I know was an awkward couple of moments for Shaggy, I'm so proud that he recognized the connection Frank was trying to make and that he responded with compassion far beyond his own comfort zone to offer Frank that connection.

And yes. I cried while I laughed.

3 comments:

Mariann said...

I probably would have laughed, cried and peed!

Michelle said...

Proof that you are raising a wonderful child. Being someone who works with people with multiple disabilities, I know sometimes in social situations they can be friendlier than we have become comfortable with. Kudos to Shaggy for having compassion and recognizing that Frank was only making a friend. :)

ComfyDenim said...

When I saw the title, I thought you were going to make a Star Trek reference.

This post proves just how good you've done with your kids. ^_^ Not every teenage boy would allow this sort of interaction.

You did good.

I'm amused that he said, "I put the shirt back."