Monday, July 24, 2017

Long Dark Curly Hair

Dear New Librarian,
I haven't seen you here before. I thought I knew all the librarians. You must be new. We spend a lot of time here. Every Saturday actually from 10 til 1130 am or so. Zach enjoys it so much. He plays on computers, looks at the movie and enjoys showing me new books. Lily loves finding big thick books that are filled with tales of wonder and occasionally tales of woe.

We were not able to go to the library last Saturday. The window guy came to replace the windows.

Today, when Zach arrived home from summer school, he requested a trip to the library. I of course obliged since we had three past due items to return.

I noticed you behind the counter right away as there was a line at the service desk and you looked quite busy assisting others. I got Zach set up at a computer and watched as Lily slowly paraded through the stacks in search of new book arrivals. Zach stood from his computer nook and headed to the movies. Taking the same route as he always does past the service counter, the water fountain and restrooms.
As Zach returned to his nook, he slowly approached you as you turned your head in the opposite direction. I saw his hand raise   then hesitate and then gently stroke the length of your beautiful hair. I saw the look on your face. You were a little startled and turned your head quickly in Zach's direction. You smiled immediately upon seeing him.

Zach, 14, so very tall at almost 6'2" with a smile on his face and big yellow noise blocking headphones covering his ears, smiled in return. I went to take a step forward to intervene and apologize for the unsolicited hair petting.

Zach said one word to you, "Nice," and walked back to me at his computer. You replied, "Why, thank you." You didn't panic, you didn't stammer, you didn't stare. You continued on with you work. When you caught me watching you you smiled at me and I did in return.

I want to thank you, new librarian with the long, dark curly hair. Thank you for being kind. Thank you for seeing my son meant you no harm and that he was truly admiring your beautiful soft locks. Thank you for being so intuitive that you knew immediately that Zach's atypical behavior wasn't threatening or odd. Thank you for knowing that a one word compliment coming from a very tall Autistic teen might be the best conversation you have today. Thank you for being kind and smiling and carrying on with your day like nothing occurred. Because your reaction speaks volumes to Zach. Your reaction was a possible encouragement to Zach to continuing complimenting others and to enter into conversations that might not be comfortable for him. You reaction was the best reaction possible. Kind, sweet and you used simple words. Words of thanks.

So New Librarian at the Chaska Library, this parent thanks you earnestly. And we hope to see you this upcoming Saturday from 10 to 1130. Oh and Thursday at 11 when  the therapy dogs are here.

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