This morning I woke up very early to take my high-functioning autistic teenager to get on the bus that would take her to her Cross Country scrimmage. When we got there, the parking lot was empty. Evidently, my daughter had remembered the time incorrectly.
When we returned home, she was very upset with herself. Because of her disability, this kind of thing happens somewhat frequently. She still gets very frustrated. After apologizing to me a number of times, she asked, “Has this ever happened to you?”
“Yes,” I said, and I told her about a very similar event. I was in the same grade she is now and my Cross Country team was having a dinner at one of my coaches’ house. Because we didn’t have the internet and things like MapQuest, he told us to look up his address in the phone book. For some reason when I did this, I looked up the wrong name, Orr instead of Olds. Unfortunately, Mr. Orr’s house was very hard to find. My dad and I drove around for more than an hour and a half just to find no one home. I immediately realized my mistake. My dad wasn’t angry. He just asked me to help him in the garage later to make up for the time we had wasted.
I can remember being very puzzled by my mistake. At the time, I had a very good memory. I had seen Mr. Olds at practice five days a week for two months. Mr. Orr was the name of the coach of a competitive soccer team I tried out for a number of years earlier. I only met that man once. I couldn’t understand why my brain had confused the two.
All these years later, I can’t help but wonder if God allowed me to have that experience so that I could comfort my distressed teenager, and so I could follow in my father’s footsteps by not getting angry or upset.