He’s somebody’s baby.
Late yesterday afternoon, when my daughter got home from a Secret Santa party, she asked me to order her a pizza. I normally order from a favorite local place, but I remembered some cheesy bread another pizza place has, so I ordered from there, thinking it would be fun to try something different.
We live in a gated neighborhood, so when I placed the order, I included directions about how to get in. About an hour later, I received a phone call, and when I answered, a man on the other end of the line was rambling, saying, “I’m outside the gate and can’t get in. Do you want me to leave your pizza at the gate? I see a sign out here that says go to the light and turn left and turn left again, and I don’t understand that, so should I leave your pizza for your here? I don’t see a keypad. I’m not sure what you want me to do…leave the pizza here?” Seriously. I had to interrupt him to say, “No! Please don’t leave it at the gate! You went to the wrong gate, but I will come get it from you. Just wait there!”
It took me about sixty seconds to get into my car and to the back gate, but I was a little hesitant, because I had no idea what was going on. On my way out the door, I told my husband I would be right back, but I added, “The guy sounded weird. I have no idea what’s going on.” Was the pizza delivery guy hopped up on drugs? It sure sounded like it on the phone. What was I walking into?
As soon as I got to the gate and saw the pizza delivery guy outside his car, I knew. The pizza delivery guy was outside his car, pacing. When he saw me walk to the fence in front of my car, he said, “Oh! Let me get your pizza! I’ll get your pizza now!” He hurried to his car and got the pizza, then brought it over to me, handing it over the fence. I thanked him and wished him a Merry Christmas. He thanked me and wished me a Merry Christmas too. And he started rambling again, “I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I should leave the pizza at the gate. Some people want me to leave it at the gate.” He went on and on. I just said, “This was perfect! Thank you again! And Merry Christmas!” (I tipped in advance on my credit card.)
He wasn’t hopped up on drugs at all. He had special needs…likely “on the spectrum” somehow. But he was out there trying to earn a living and working hard to do it correctly! He was worried that he was doing it wrong. He wanted to make the customer happy. He simply wanted to do a good job. And he did. I was thrilled to see him working hard, and I thought his mother would be proud.
Because yes, he has a mother. Somewhere, he has a mother. And she probably has always worried he wouldn’t be able to get a job. She probably worried he wouldn’t be able to function in society or contribute to the “greater good.” She might have worried people would be afraid of him or make fun of him. He is her baby, after all.
But last night, he definitely contributed to society. He delivered a much-needed pizza for a tired, hungry, teenage girl. He did a good job. I wish I could tell his mom.