Dear Alicia

Dear Alicia

I quite like it when someone reaches out to share a compliment regarding my children and so, I’m extending the same courtesy to you. We mothers, no matter our background, try to instill kindness in our children. Like me, do you wonder if the endless instruction is sticking? Yours is sticking.

I was waiting on a delayed flight and trying to keep my four rambunctious children entertained in the confined space. It was impossible to miss the boy playing with an amazing fun mother that secretly made me annoyed. I felt anything but fun in that moment, leaking quiet tears over the word autism, a diagnosis my three year old son received yesterday. Anyways, I was quite relieved when the overly fun mom divulged her role as nanny.

Your son, Egypt, shared strawberries and race cars. Perplexed, he watched Amos and voiced that his own brother was two and in big boy pants. Amos has autism, I said aloud, for the very first time. Not unlike my big three, he shrugged his small shoulders, moved on quickly and asked my middle son to play war. My big two gathered to watch, all crouched on the airport floor and I heard my daughter ask your son’s age. “I’m six,” he said and she gloated quite happily, “Russell, how does it feel to get beat by somebody in kindergarten?!”

I needed that chuckle and my children needed a diversion from a grieving mother, one they don’t know so well and truthfully, nor do I. It was time to go and all were reluctant to part ways and so, we took a picture and my oldest son unearthed a card with my email and website and told him that he could find us there. Your son was remiss to not have his own card, so he happily showed his new friends a family picture on his iPad. The plot thickened in a way I could not have imagined and I whispered to my children that their new friend with the big smile and kind heart was quite famous.

I don’t know you Alicia Keys, but I know the kind of mom you are and I see the kind of children you’re raising and though we live polar opposite lives, you’d be someone I would be honored to call a friend. And your son, Egypt? Please tell him thank you from the Wood family. His very self brightened our day.


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