Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Being introduced to Kevin will be a day I will not soon forget. Cristy and I were diligently serving at First Baptist Church Anywhere, FL as AWANA Store merchants. We were given the all important task of manning the ONE DOLLAR section of AWANA store (yeah we were trusted) when in walks Kevin. We could tell right away he was special. He kept talking about someone named Hard Hat Harry and mentioning a Helicopter. He was not talking to anyone just to himself. He then began to draw on the dry eraser board. Some cryptic symbols that wold set any LOST fan off to the message boards with conspiracy theories on who Jacob was. (sorry I digress)
You see Kevin is autistic. A very good seven or eight year old kinda hanging out in his own world. I can dig it. He hung out with us for a while then went off with his handler for the night, a Miss Jillian. AWANA store was closing down so Cristy and I packed up our merchandise and made our way to the couches in the church foyer for some hang out time.
While we were catching up on our day I noticed Miss Jillian standing by the bathrooms with a real nervous look on her face. I think I said something to Cristy like “Uh oh, looks like Kevin got away from her.” Cristy turned and made eye contact with her and she began moving toward us. Miss Jillian stooped over to us and whispered.
“Kevin has been in the bathroom for a long time, Richard can you go check on him?”
“Sure.” I say and off I go into the men’s bathroom to seek out young Kevin. First thing I find when walking in is an open stall with a pile of clothes clumped up on the floor. I hear a voice to my right say, “Wipe please.” It wasn’t so much a question but a statement. I turn to my right and I see Kevin wearing only his socks and a gold Chain around his neck. He had pulled a hand full of paper towels out of the paper towel dispenser and was headed my way. I couldn’t really conjure up any words. I was like a deer in headlights as he approached me. When he reached me he turned and assumed the position. The position I can only assume was the “Wipe Please” position. He turned, spread his legs, bent over reaching back his hand full of paper towels to hand to me, and stuck his butt out. From my vantage point I could tell he clearly needed to have his butt wiped.
I am sure you have heard the term Speechless. Well there is another stage to speechless which I experienced the day I met Kevin. It is a place that really no one wants to reach. That point where the mind stops functioning. It is as if a black hole opens up in one of those cortexes in your brain and sucks everything into it leaving it void. I am not sure there is a term for it but it happened to me. I can tell you for certain that it exists because otherwise I would not have done what I did. If this had not happened to me I would have turned around, walked out, and said to Miss Jillian “He is just finishing up. He should be out in a minute.” After saying that I would have left that church never to return again. However, I did not do that. I took the paper towels and began full filling his request to “Wipe Please.”
I got him cleaned up. It took some doing. I had to wet some paper towels to get him where I thought he needed to be. I helped him get his clothes on and out to Miss Jillian. She was very thankful.
Now you might think this was the end of the story right? Wrong.
It was award night at AWANA and Olivia was going to be receiving an award. So we gathered into the fellowship hall where they were handing them out. While we waited I related the story back to Cristy and we had a good laugh. “These things only happen to you.” She said, and she was right. While we were sitting there Miss Jillian and Kevin walk in and sat down in front of us. We chuckled to ourselves as he sat down and we couldn’t help but stare. As we watched him we noticed him smelling his fingers. I thought right away, he’s got smelly, poopy hands. He took another smell and Miss Jillian made the mistake of her life and turned to find out what he was doing. Smelling his fingers he turned to her as she turned to him and then offered his fingers up to her and she took a big whiff and recoiled in disgust. Her face twisted, and contorted as she attempted to escape his ever advancing fingers. It was as if he wanted her to smell them. She grabbed his hand held it down and told him to stop.
Tears were rolling down our faces. The laughter could not be contained. The look on her face was priceless. I could not tell you what award Olivia got that night, but I will never forget the reward Miss Jillian received from Kevin.