It is amazing as Jackson has gotten older, how many more looks he gets from people throughout the day. It was no more apparent than our most recent vacation. It can be hard at times and even heart wrenching, but the reality is that it is up to us how we interpret the looks and let them affect us. Some looks are that of judgment, but not all- probably not even the majority of looks. Often looks are just of curiosity or just Jackson doing something to capture their attention.
The truth is that people looking at Jackson is only bothersome if I choose it to be bothersome. I choose to pitch my tent in the land of joy. I choose to interpret the looks as that of education or admiration. I know to some out there this may sound absurd, but think about it for a moment. How many times have you looked at someone with admiration or intrigue? During a recent vacation to Washington DC, I noticed a father and his son. The son was a few years older than Jackson and obviously on the spectrum. While I was with Jackson viewing the exhibits I also observed that father with his son – which allowed me to visualize where I will be a father in a few years. I looked at that father with admiration. I hope that I prove to be as good as a father as he appeared to be. When people look at Jackson with me, I choose to believe that they may be looking at us through the same eyes that I was looking at that father and his son – a look of admiration. In some cases, I may be fooling myself, but this is what I choose to believe. Regardless of the motivations behind the looks, I know in my heart that both boys (Jackson and that man’s son) have a lot to offer this world. Therefore, they should be admired.