I met her last year sometime at a school function. Her son was a new kid in Thing Two's class; she, taller even than me, was quiet and somewhat distant when I introduced myself. Sadly, I assumed at the time that perhaps Thing Two had annoyed her son somehow: the kids he's been in school with since kindergarten or before are generally used to his eccentricities, but he'd already had a minor run-in with another new boy earlier that year. Nevertheless, when we were making plans for Thing Two's birthday party and Thing Two wanted to invite her son, I added him to the list and hoped for the best.
When she arrived at the party with him today, an attempt to break the ice with a question about her son's teacher assignment for next year revealed that he's once again with Thing Two, and I did have a brief inward cringe. But only brief, because the conversation quickly turned to some of her concerns about next year, and I discovered with astonishment that her son has many of the same types of issues as Thing Two and even sees several of the same professionals. (I also think she is a bit shy by nature.) Since they are still relatively new, I was able to reassure her about next year's teacher and even make a suggestion or two about things she can ask that the school do for her son to make things easier for him...it ended up being a really good conversation and I walked away feeling like I might have a new friend. Glad I didn't take that whole first-impression thing as gospel...it now looks like both my son and I would have been missing out! Live and learn.