There are very few people who have a natural knack for communicating with a handicapped or special needs person.
Most of us need a little guidance with a few tips but some rare individuals just seem to naturally know.
This is a tale of 2 sweet little boys.
Sunday night at the reception after our annual Choir Christmas Program I had the privilege of observing both of these kinds of people. David and I were sitting in a remote corner in the Fellowship Hall eating some yummy finger food. I usually strategically put him in an out of the way corner for a few reasons. First, I don’t want anyone to trip over his footrests. Second, I want pretty girls and children to be out of the reach of David’s very long arms. He loves to grab and hold on to people as they walk by which can be a little unnerving if you aren’t used to it, especially for a child. (maybe part of his joking personality?)
I was sitting there feeding David and talking to a friend when suddenly I heard a little voice saying firmly, “High Five!”
I looked down and saw a tiny boy trying to give a high five to David’s outstretched hand. He is the 3 year old son of one of our elders. It was the cutest sight! Over and over he shouted “High Five!” and slapped David’s hand. David was loving it – grinning and making his excited squealing noise. In fact, he got so close that I had to hold David’s long legs down so he didn’t involuntarily kick the little boy during one of his muscle spams. This sweet child had absolutely no inhibitions. Maybe it was his young age, but I tend to think he is one of those few people who sees everyone on the same plain.
From time to time during the evening I noticed another little boy eyeing David and looking like he wanted to come over to us. This child was about 6 years old. Later that evening as things were starting to die down and people were leaving the second little boy’s mother walked over to us holding his hand. She stooped down and did her best to give him a few tips then said, “Daniel has been wanting to come over and say hi and talk to David but didn’t know how to or what to say.” So precious! This sweet child wanted to talk to David but was too shy and hesitant and needed a little help and encouragement from his mom. There really wasn’t much of a conversation at that time because of the commotion of people leaving but it was a good first step for Daniel to just be near a person with special needs and just watch. And that’s ok.
Maybe next time he will be brave and smile and wave. Sometimes that’s all you need. But one thing’s for sure, David will be ready for a high five when he sees Josh’s son. He will also be ready to grin at Daniel the next time he sees him.