It was a cloudy Friday morning, and like every Friday morning my son and I stopped by the Donut King to get his usual: 2 chocolate doughnuts with sprinkles. It's like Groundhog Day every Friday. My son and I go in, Mr. Alex comes out from behind the counter and says, "Hi, boy (even though he knows his name) how's your daddy?" My son replies, "Good", then holds up two fingers and says, "2 please." Mr. Alex knows exactly which "2" my son is refering to and puts them in the bag. Then I pay and my son says, "Receipt please." Mr. Alex tears off the receipt tape and my son gets extra excited if it happens to be a real long tape. I think my son has acquired enough receipt tape to go from California to New York. Like I said, Groundhog Day, because this scene plays out EVERY Friday. Last Friday, we pull up to the shop along with another car. Two boys hop out of the car and go in first, I began to feel a twinge of fear. As my son and I walk in my fear is confirmed...no chocolate doughnuts with sprinkles. It appears the boys in front of us have bought the last ones. My son hasn't noticed yet and I began to think, "Hmm, maybe I can convince him to get a white frosted doughnut with sprinkles, they are almost exactly the same except for the frosting, or maybe I should just tell him to take the plunge and try something completely new like a chocolate bar, (NO! are you crazy now is not the time to try to make him do something totally new!)....think, think. Then, he notices the chocolate doughnuts with sprinkles are MIA and he starts to breathe heavy and get that "bristly" look about him. He starts to ask over and over where the doughnuts are. Now, I go into damage control mode and I make up my mind that we are going to stay calm and not let this ruin his whole day (okay self, put all these new found strategies to work). Just as I am crouching down to be at eye level with my son, Mr. Alex leans over the counter and shakes a bag in front of my face. Yes, my hero, Mr. Alex saved my son his doughnuts and his entire day. I was so grateful I could have kissed him!! I know what some might be thinking, "boy, she is easy to please". Seriously, I know what I just described may sound like this is just a case of a spoiled kid, but no, my son is not a spoiled brat who just throws tantrums because he doesn't get his favorite doughnuts. This is not just about 2 chocolate doughnuts, but about the entire routine. My son is unique, or in the words of a doctor at the UC San Francisco Autism/Asperger clinic "an interesting case". From a very early age my son has struggled with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, along with other "atypical" behavior. He is very ritualistic, and the slightest deviation from his "normal" can disrupt his entire day. Some people are very compassionate and understanding and others...well, not so much. Mr. Alex is one of the good guys. Well, I always knew that. The fact that he takes the time to humor my son by giving him the receipt tape and listen to his crazy little stories every Friday morning qualifies him for good guy status in my book. So, thank you Mr. Alex and know that your future in the doughnut business is secure because I would get a second mortgage on my house to keep you in business if I had to!!
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