Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Little Human Gifts

Today is Special Education Day and Special Kids Day, a day on which we honor children with developmental and physical challenges.

There are a couple of children, girls, in my extended family who live with challenges and I am always amazed at what appears to be their level of happiness and joy. They seem to experience life in the moment and revel in everything from a kitten to a piece of candy. I always wonder what life looks like through their eyes.

One of the children, Abby, suffers from Rett’s Syndrome, a severely debilitating condition that afflicts 1 in 50,000 girls. For years, when Abby saw me or heard my voice she would shout, “Mike!” In fact, she shouted it at a funeral at which I was a pallbearer. It was one of the most delightful moments of my life.

We are often inhibited from interacting with children with special needs because of our concern that we won’t know how to act if they do or say something we are unprepared to handle.

Don’t let your concerns prevent you from at least smiling and nodding to the parent and the child. Your smile may be the only smile they see that day.

These little human gifts deserve all the smiles they can get, and they will often be the first to give you one.

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