The Rest of the Sweet, Sweet Story
My mother, in a brilliant effort to keep my junior high friends and I entertained would load up her 1980-something conversion van back in the day (just a few minutes ago- right?!) and take us on what we called "doughnut runs."
That class of junior high students is about to have our 20 year reunion this summer. Guess what still comes up as a top ten memory?
You guessed it. Krispy Kreme runs in Mama Aitken's van.
With such a rich heritage of loving all things sugary, it's only natural that my children would love Krispy Kreme, too.
To add to that, there's genetics (chocolate is in my DNA).
There's also the fact that we live in the south. (Enough said. We KNOW about good food.)
Earlier this year, I found out how amazing the folks at Krispy Kreme truly are through a sweet drive through experience. (If you haven't read about it, I would encourage you to click here and do so. It will change the way that you see the world.)
Tonight, I received confirmation that it was not just a one time thing. Tonight we met Ms. Jessica.
A little history on our evening, first, though...
Tonight was a night where autism was rearing its head in a not so pretty way.
Overstimulation and confusion were the name of the game.
Every noise was bothering my little man (too loud). Stopping for gas at the gas station tonight totally rocked his world (unexpected). The lady in line at the grocery store looked at him and he was quite certain she was "being a mean lady" (I have no idea- just in the wrong place at the wrong time, sister!).
Every sensory bell and whistle that my fella had was just being a bully to his entire being. Honestly, it's nights like this that give autism a bad name.
Because for all that is lovely in the world, the crying just had to stop.
(My favorite OT in the world says, "You can't kill the mother." Tonight, Krispy Kreme was my way of acknowledging the same.)
And so we went...
1 Pumpkin Doughnut and 1 Custard Filled Doughnut (just in case the pumpkin doughnut was not quite as yummy as it looked in the picture). Ordered. The night was getting better.
When we got to the drive through window, the server handed me a BAG with 2 doughnuts...
I knew that the "better" had just left the building.
See, Doughnut Story #1 taught my son that the bag would smudge his doughnut icing. For him, that was Level 10 BAD in action... and he just couldn't take a repeat performance tonight.
As so many of our children do, my little fella had locked his first experience (smudged doughnuts) in as a mental picture of the "bad place" that he never wanted to go back to again. When he saw the bag tonight, it all came back to him and he is smart enough to know, "Hey- wait a minute- we don't have to go there."
I will confess. I was TIRED tonight. I knew the meltdown was coming and I took my chances by trying to take the doughnut bag and just drive.
And then the voice came....
"Mommy, I NEED A BOX!!!! ((sob, sob, sob, sob)) I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED a box! No bags! No bags! No bags! Bags are not for doughnuts!"
Sometimes it takes me a minute to put myself in his place and understand that the tears are so real to him. That bag, you see, was "hurting" his doughnut. It's just wrong.
Got about halfway through the parking lot when I heard, "Where are the other ones?!" <<insert sobbing here>>.
And I knew what he meant....
Autism parents are EXCELLENT detectives, you see. :)
Good puzzles have every piece in them... and this puzzle was incomplete by several pieces. There were 2 doughnuts and 6 spots.
If you don't live with autism, my response (and perhaps this whole blog) sounds a lot like weak parenting.
I get that. Before autism, I would have said, "Listen, little man. Stop throwing a fit, say thank you for the doughnut, and we're going home" and that would have been that.
The world is not so black and white once you insert autism into the mix. Like it or lump it, it's called a spectrum for a reason and we touch every single color on any given day.
So, I circled back around... $10 in hand... ready to buy every stinkin' doughnut I could get my hands on. I might be paying extra for it, but we were about to have some chocolate covered love in this Camry. :)
I didn't have to say much at all when I got to the intercom.
The conversation went something like this:
"I have the box you just gave me... and I need more doughnuts. It's just been a rough night."
I could hear her smile through the intercom as she told me to pull forward.
I handed her the box and she just shook her head as she handed me another one with the missing pieces... 3 more doughnuts.
As I handed her a 5 dollar bill, she shook her head "no" and said, "I've got it. I've got it. I'll cover it."
And they do... Krispy Kreme has got it.
From the moment you walk in the door or roll through the drive through, they've got it.
You know the way every parent loves Chick Fil A? That times a million is how much I love our friends at Krispy Kreme.
There's a saying that says, "Each one reach one." The Krispy Kreme drive through in Montgomery, AL is proof in the custard doughnut that every single one of us can do that... no matter what season, position, or phase of life we are in.
World changers change the world right from the seat they've been given and when it's time to move from that seat, they make sure they leave a trail of happiness to the chair they've left for the next world changer.
I like to think that Ms. Chan left this spot just for Ms. Jessica. :)
Thank you to Ms. Jessica, Ms. Chan, and the folks at Krispy Kreme for your legacy of loving our kids and showing acceptance to the world.
You've truly redefined sweetness and I hope the whole world has a craving for more. I may be raising a future franchise owner! Who knows! :)
©Christie Aitken, 2013
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