today a boy stole my heart

17 Nov

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.

xxx

T

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14 Responses to “today a boy stole my heart”

  1. expatsincebirth November 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    I understand your reaction. I know many kids with all sorts of disabilities or illnesses and I also know what their parents are going through. Did you talk to the mom? I know that these parents often feel isolated in such situations because other parents don’t dare to ask…

    • wonderlandbytatu November 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      No, I didn’t…Did not find the strength and nerve for it. Wouldn’t know what to say either…

  2. momtimes4 November 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Awww..I would have felt the same way. I am always surprised at how unfeeling some people can be when they make comments like that.

    • wonderlandbytatu November 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

      just felt overwhelmed…I can’t, I really can’t imagine what she must be feeling…

  3. nothingbythebook November 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    tears in my eyes. xoxox

    • wonderlandbytatu November 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

      tears in my eyes, lump in my throat, all in all, an emotional wreck (and I am only a stranger to the situation…)

      • expatsincebirth November 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

        Yes, these comments hurt a lot, but I think they hurt less when they come from a child. They are less hurting because children say straightaway what they think. If an adult says the same thing, it’s unfeeling.

      • wonderlandbytatu November 17, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

        I agree. It seems less hurtful when it comes from a child. Still, the most naive question works as a constant reminder of the situation I guess.

  4. ramblingsfromamum November 18, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    So humbling. I have friends with children with disabilities, one is 29 with autism. It is a continual battle for her mum, the other an 18 year old daughter with physical and mental disabilities. I often think of how my life is and the battle I have with my girls who are blessed to be perfectly healthy (apart from OCD and mild depression) and though that can have it’s trials it is no where near what these other mums and so many like them have to contend with on a daily basis. Now and then when my girls are causing me grief I think of how hard other mums in this world do have it and it brings me back down to earth.
    Children will say things that us adults know better not to…but it’s only through their innocence and naivety.
    It is good to understand that yes our children are healthy and there are some that sadly are not..and to remind ourselves how truly fortunate we are.
    Reality check at its finest.
    xx

    • wonderlandbytatu November 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

      yes, I am thankful for these reality checks and I find that they usually happen when you need them most…xxx

  5. memyselfandkids November 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Very touching post. I respect your empathy. The mother’s reaction was amazing – so focused on the positive. It must be hard to have always be explaining her son’s behavior.

    • wonderlandbytatu November 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

      Yes, I totally agree. I was observing her for a while. She was guiding and encouraging him to take part in every game (not minding the fact that he could not actually really participate in half of them) and she cheered for him like no other. How incredibly brave, loving and strong. I am in awe of her.

      • memyselfandkids November 19, 2012 at 3:06 am #

        I could learn a lesson that. My children have issues and when they arise. I often feel bad and don’t always handle it well.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What to say to parents of a child with a disability | expatsincebirth - November 18, 2012

    […] just read a post by Tatu and thought that listing up a few things to say to a parent of a child with a disability would help […]

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