I met a little boy with Down syndrome today. I gazed upon his sweet face and told his parents how adorable he was.
The parents froze.
There was a pregnant pause.
It was a pause that I've
experienced many times in my career working with special needs children. A
complete cessation of breath as parents freeze and take a moment in which to
weigh the compliment-to measure the heft of it and decide if the giver was
being truthful or if the words were just a cover for that awkward moment when
they realized that the child wasn't what they had first expected.
that blissful moment when they see the purity in
the truth of my words.
The sigh of relief.
The lowering of shoulders that had
been prepared for defensiveness. The gratitude for such a simple thing as
having someone else see their child for who they are, not who society thinks
they should be.
So we smiled and grinned at the little boy in tandem,
taking in his singular beauty.
His smile lit up the room and my entire day.
Let us shine brightly as this little boy with the bright blue almond-shaped eyes, Friends. If it is at all possible.
Shine on, Dear Ones, Shine on.