Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Moroccan Embassy Saves The Day

 Have you ever had someone just serendipitously appear when you desperately needed some aid and assistance?  When you are a mom of a budding teenager with autism who lives far away from old familiarities, you hope for an occasional happy happenstance or unexpected miraculous rescue.  I know I cannot routinely depend on the magical design of intersecting moments with others, but sometimes they come in unanticipated ways....

Today on the road in Doha, Qatar with many embassies (such as Yemen, Cyprus, Palestine, Morocco, and Thailand), our 12-year-old son with autism had a tremendously loud, long emotional breakdown--by far the worst in recent memory. We were walking on Embassy Row when a security guard in front of the Moroccan Embassy came strolling over to us with his machine gun strapped over his shoulder.

E. stood wide-eyed, and immediately became silenced as the young guard walked toward him.  I was afraid myself because I knew his emotional outburst had probably unsettled the quiet atmosphere of the stately, dignified street.  With great kindness and concern, he came to question me if everything was alright.

He did not understand the word autism, but with a few whispered words of explanation, he put out his hand to my son, and just said, "Everything is going to be fine, my friend."  With a pat on his shoulder and even a hug, all E's fears, anxieties, sadness dissipated.  A smile returned to his face.
Making a new friend
There were no more howls and tears.  A warming sun had parted the clouds; a cool breeze blew.  As Rose Kennedy once said, "The birds always come out after the storm."  Believe me, I am always vigilantly looking for a bird to fly overhead in the sky my way.

Thank you, Mohammed, for guarding me today, and crossing the street to squelch some wound up emotion.  It made all the difference.