A dear friend asked me to watch her kids. She is one of those incredible people who is caring for an elderly parent as well as her school-aged children.

The elderly parent needed a short-notice doctor appointment and my friend asked me if could watch her kids after school. She was so kind, knowing that a change in routine might be difficult for the Navigator and not wanting to add to the difficultly.

But it was no difficulty at all.

These are kids the Navigator has known since pre-school and since before his Autism diagnosis. He is completely and totally comfortable with them, there is no pressure for him to get along with them, they are just his friends and make no social demands of him because they all understand each other.

They are not best friends, they are all just friends in the best possible way.

Having guests we both like and are comfortable with worked beautifully. He was more relaxed than he had been for days.

But to me one of the most important things about it was that I had a chance to give back. This friend has always been so kind and thoughtful about accommodating my son and our family, and I have rarely had the opportunity to repay her in kind.

It can be difficult sometimes to volunteer to help out with friends and do favors for folks when I need to consider the impact on my son.

I have had to stop myself from feeling badly about not jumping in to help with the PTA, or declining social invitations, or participating in events. It has required reminding myself that it is ok to not help my community and instead help my child.

Which means that being able to say yes to a request for a favor was a wonderful feeling.

So while my friend was looking for short-notice care for her kids, in reality she and her kids provided short-notice care for the Navigator and me.

So nice the way that worked out.