No. It was not my boy. It was someone else’s boy.
We went to a birthday party this morning. Both Yianni & Iliana had been waiting for this party the whole week. You see, being able to attend birthday parties during wintertime is something rare. Chances are that either one (or both) of them are down with some sort of flu. Surprisingly enough, this time we managed to make it.
While I was trying to convince Yianni to mingle with the crowd and terribly failing at it, I saw this boy. A tall boy. A happy boy. A different boy. I stared. I know how rude it is to stare. That is something I try to teach my 2 kids. But you know when you see something different and sad and you just can’t keep your eyes off of it? That is what happened to me. While I was staring I tried to comprehend the difficulties and problems and worries his mom must be going through and I felt so little.
A few minutes later I saw a girl go to him and ask him something. He did not reply. He just smiled. The most genuine smile I had seen in a long time. She turned to his mom with a bedazzled look and asked her: ‘Does he not speak’? The mom replied: ‘No, he can not speak. But he can give you great smiles. And hugs. He gives the best hugs in the world.’
A profound sadness overcame me. I struggled to hide my over-emotional reaction. Who was I anyway? How can another mom’s struggle affect me in such an intense way? I ll tell you why. I can not begin to understand what she must be going through. I will not pretend that I can relate and the truth is I do not want to relate. I will let this be a reality check for me and N. and whenever I feel like parenting my 2 healthy kids is difficult I promise I will think of her and her boy with the million dollar smile.