3.13.2008

A Child's View...

Don't you just love the sweet innocence of children? Their laughter, their view of the world, their naivety. I had a beautiful moment with Riley today when she came home from a play date. It wasn't a normal play date with one of her little girlfriends. It was a special play date that I planned far in advance, with a friend from her class she normally doesn't see outside of school. It was with a boy named Christian, and he has Spina Bifida.

Riley took an instant liking to Christian when she first met him back in November. His first day of preschool just happened to be his birthday, so when Riley told me all about the "new kid" she didn't say anything except how cool he was since his mom brought in cupcakes. No mention that he uses a walker, or that he wears a treach tube. Only how "cool" (her new favorite word) that he's five.

Christian was attending the preschool two days a week, but due to several illnesses and infections he has only been to school a few times since January. We saw him at a few functions outside of school; once at a friend's post-baby shower, and the other time was at Riley's bowling birthday party. We haven't seen him since then.

She had been nagging and nagging for several weeks to schedule a play date with him. So I canceled Riley's swimming lesson for today so she could spend the afternoon at Christian's house. She was there for about 2.5 hours and came home with the biggest smile. I wanted to know all about her play date to which she answered in one long winded sentence, "Um.... we played dinosaurs, we watched Caillou, we played in his room, we colored, we ran around, we played with swords, and we ate Mac and Cheese". "Oh yeah, it's so cool, he shares a room with his sister and he sleeps in a small bed because you know he can't walk well, right?" She ended our minute-long conversation with the tell tale sign of a good time, "Mom, can he come over next week to my house?" I was so proud of her, I was almost in tears (who am I kidding, I was in tears).

Riley my love, when you're done, can I borrow your rose colored glasses?

58 comments:

Danie said...

A lovely friendship in the making.

karey m. said...

ugh! this makes me cry!

EmmaP said...

Ok - I said I loved the other post - but this one I love even more! I had a best friend in Kindergarten - from day one. Heather Yenna. She had lukemia, which made her bald and a hairlip, which disfigured her face. My own mom cried when I brought my "cool new best friend" home, since I had never mentioned those things to her. Honestly...she was just "heather" to me. I have tried my best to raise my kids like that....and to be "color" blind as well.

We can learn a lot from the innocence of a child!

American in Norway said...

Sweet story... wish all children /PEOPLE could be a little more like Riley!

Rhonda said...

My oldest daughter had a friend with many disabilities and I just loved watching her with him. When she was chosen to move his arms into the hand motions at their kindergarten Christmas concert, I didn't hold back either.

Children are so accepting of people, no matter what! We lose that somehow along the way as we age. I wonder why that is?

trashalou said...

I love this post. I love that children just accept things as they are.

Please recognise that your girl is just reflecting you and your husband. Sometimes, among all the shouting and grousing and correcting we do at our kids, we get little glimpses that we are perhaps getting things right.

justjuli said...

That's so awesome. I love the innocence and open hearted-ness of childhood.

Keep up the great work raising some amazing kids!

Colleen said...

What a great story!

Creative Junkie said...

Awwwwwwww, how sweet is that?

Heather said...

My daughter attended two different "integrated" preschools over the past two years, in which the classes were a mix of "typically developing" kids and kids with special needs. There were kids in each of her classes with visible special needs - a few kids in her first preschool with CP who used wheelchairs or walkers and had limited mobility, for example, and she's had kids on the Autism spectrum, kids with Down's Syndrome and other more "noticeable" needs in her class as well.

And my kiddo doesn't at all realize that there's anything different with any of her friends and classmates. Joy might sign instead of talk and use a walker, Sonny might have difficulty with cutting with scissors, Andrew might sometimes rock and flap his arms... it's just how they are. It's no different than her friend (who is "typically developing") who has severe food allergies or that my kiddo now wears glasses. In her world, everyone is equally different in their own way, which makes them all the same, if you know what I mean.

All that is to say that it sounds like Riley has the same view as my kiddo, and what a wonderful view that is - too bad we tend to forget this most basic, human lesson as we get older...

Kat said...

I love it. My older daughter has scoliosis. And wears a back brace. No one can tell she has it on. Until they hug her or touch her...and feel the hard plastic. Or the metal on the straps. She is so self conscious about it - she freaks when someone asks what it is. I keep trying to get her to find something to say that she is comfortable with - but that will give them some sort of answer.

And I keep trying to tell her, that no one can tell she has it. And no one really cares :-)

Melanie said...

Beautiful. What we could all learn from the young.

Nessa said...

How beautiful! If only kids could keep those rose colored glasses awhile longer.

My daughter has a condition where the left side of her skull is smaller than the right side. She also is blind in her left eye. Although we harly notice her facial differences, kids at school sure do and they ca be so cruel. It's nice to know some kids can see others who are different as just kids like them.

AJ said...

That brought tears to my eyes. It's amazing what kids CAN overlook that us adults have such a hard time with. You have an amazing little girl.

PhatMom said...

I love it. What a beautiful story.

kmm0305 said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Its wonderful to see kids so accepting and oblivious to differences that adults might shy away from. Sounds like you have a wonderful daughter taught by wonderful parents!

EmBee said...

What I love most about this exchange is that she'll never feel uncomfortable seeing past a persons disability... She'll always see just the person. This is something I've always found difficult because I'm never sure how to approach a disabled person or exactly what to say. I'm always afraid I'll say the wrong thing. How fortunate for all of you!

Ren said...

That is so wonderful!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Gosh - what happens that makes us lose that compassion?? You should be so proud!!

Mrs. S said...

I remember when I was younger there was a girl who lived close to me. She was so fun to play with, we were over there all the time. It never occurred to me that she was "different" because she was in a wheelchair. I think she was just fun.

Mekhismom said...

What a lovely story and I am truly enjoying your writing.

Melissa Lester said...

Beautiful! I hope she will hold on to that sweet spirit.

Amy said...

Innocent chilren, so beautiful! :D

thotlady said...

Kids are born with a great outlook, it's life that jades us a little or a lot depending on our experiences.

It's a good thing she is having these wonderful memories to guide her.

angie said...

I'm almost in tears reading this!

WheresMyAngels said...

It's because you expose your child to many different situation and you have a good outlook, so you need to be congratulated on how your child see's the world.

You know that both my children have Down Syndrome and they have made wonderful friends and you can always count that those friends have outstanding parents who aren't bothered by differences.

Katy Lin :) said...

she is such a sweetheart! how wonderful to befriend someone who must be hard for a little one to understand! :)

Vicki @ notsosahm.wordpress.com said...

Can I borrow them when you're done? I think you have a special kid, because even children don't often see the true person behind the differences.

Ronnica said...

The joy of new friends!

Party of 5 said...

She is so beautiful! Good job SITSa!

serra said...

WOW.what a beautiful story! Imagine the feelings of Christians mom... your riley is truly an angel.

Sunshine said...

That is beautiful. You have done well, Momma!

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Okay, after reading all three posts, I REALLY love your girls. They are precious, and Riley, bless her heart. Yes, I have tears in my eyes!
Congrats on the Saucy Blog feature, today. I have enjoyed getting to know you and your family.

Rhea said...

Riley sounds like such a sweet, wonderful little girl. You've obviously been raising your girls right. I'm impressed. This was a sweet story!

Tiffany said...

This is a wonderful post. What a sweet and special girl. Christian sounds pretty cool too!

dddiva said...

What a beautiful heart your daughter has. I was also blessed with children who saw past differences to find what really mattered.
Congrats on your SITS day, glad I got to *meet* you.

Deanna said...

Her sweet heart and rose colored glasses come from good parenting, ya know? I've always believed that the way parents raise their children will determine through what veil they will view the world as they grow older. Ya'll have two very wonderful daughters! I've enjoyed perusing the blog today!

Live.Love.Eat said...

It's incredible how she sees right past what so many people would focus on.

Hairline Fracture said...

Oh how precious. She's a sweetie!

Tracy P. said...

What's cool is that you didn't shy away from making the play date, thinking it would be "too much". Actually, she inherited your glasses. ;-)

sassy stephanie said...

I loooooove the innocent. One of my dearest friends has a son with CP that is in a wheelchair. My kids have grown up seeing a good friend of my hubby's in one as well. They think nothing of it. They love riding around in Mr. Dave's chair with him!

wendy said...

This is BEAUTIFUL. The Boy (who is 10) had a friend with cerebral palsey (sp?) in his class last year. My son didn't see the disability, but rather pointed out all the really cool things about his new friend. It made me so proud.

Happy SITS day!

Stephanie said...

We can learn so much from our children. They really don't see the disabilities and "problems" of other people, and I think that is just so wonderful!

Michelle said...

What a wonderful and sweet girl! And great job on raising her. My son attends a special needs school, so we see many similar (and worse off and some better off) kids all the time, and I'm hoping that it eventually rubs off on him that they're all fun to play with. I'm sure his mom misses you now that you're gone! What a treat for everyone.

Andie said...

That's a beautiful story! Sounds like you've got a wonderful child!

wehave9 said...

Kids can be so sweet. If only adults could do the same. My son is autistic and I fear for the teasing he is bound to receive when he gets older. The little kids don't even realize there is a difference! But this also says something about you as a mother...you obviously aren't judgemental either. Congrats on your day!

cricketphx said...

Okay, yea- I definitely need a tissue. :)

Patty said...

this made me tear up. what a great story!

Kelly said...

What a sweet little girl you have!!

Karen said...

What a great little girl you have there and what a wonderful job you are doing at bringing her up!!

Melissa said...

It's so awesome to learn from children. Jesus even said, "If you want to come to me, you must make yourself like a child." Such wisdom....
This was a beautiful post.

mrsmouthy said...

Thanks for sharing this heart-warming story with us!

Simply Stork said...

lovly story

~simply~

Peggy said...

Oh, what we adults could learn from a child! Wonderful story.

Wep said...

SO sweet :)

Cristin said...

That's too stinkin sweet... I have a boy with disabilities and my heart is melting right now...

Rela Pantaleon-Manigsaca said...

Amazing!

And Mom - you did an excellent job in raising her!

Untypically Jia said...

Oh how precious!

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