This morning, I noticed there was quite a hubbub going on at the state's oldest courthouse. My husband shared that the NC Supreme Court was in Edenton hearing cases and before he knew it, I was in fancy clothes (white jeans) and manhandled Amos into knee socks and saddle shoes. One must look the part when you haven't been invited, haven't signed up, don't hold a ticket for entry and arrive wrestling a three year old with autism. We are not exactly on the most wanted list.
We moseyed down to the courthouse and I asked someone with a name badge for a chance to take a picture. Pictures were yesterday he told me, but I didn't know, I told him. He paused and smiled and said, let me see what I can do. A few minutes later he agreed and so, we waited. I sat quietly and Amos explored, not so quietly, the old courtroom. No one seemed to mind, though after a while, we made our way outside to burn up some energy. Cars arrived and smiling men and women stepped out, just regular folks, friendly to Amos and his mama. I didn't know they would be like that.
We smiled and said hello and they lingered, several spoke to me for quite a while about Amos, our area, poverty, schools and yes, having a child with special needs and life for him in NC. They asked thoughtful questions, offered advice, spoke to Amos and made me feel like I mattered. When you make a mama feel important, you do the same for her child. The Chief invited us into the judges' chambers for a photo and before I knew it, Amos climbed in a chair to sample the untouched delectables offered to the North Carolina Judicial Branch's most important court in NC.
To be three with autism means you don't give a damn about whose snacks are whose. Nope, he yelled "nana" and the Chief was quick to oblige. The small blond boy whose place in the puzzle is not neat and tidy was welcome amidst the best and brightest. They laughed and smiled and offered grace to the mother who longs for a world where perfection isn't required. I can't tell you much about their rulings or credentials or political affiliations, but I hope that I've offered a glimpse of the human nature of seven individuals that make me proud to be a North Carolinian.