Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 for 21: #29 The People That You Meet

We went to a Halloween party tonight.  Everybody wore their Halloween shirts with undershirts with long sleeves...
#1 Because it was stinkin' COLD
#2  Because I SO did not want to figure out if I could wash the girls' costumes before Trick-or-Treating

That said, I met a lady today.  I didn't get her was one of those conversations that you kinda join, and as 1/2 hour passes, you feel that you really missed the introduction part...

BUT ANYWAY, we got to talking and Elise came up and wiped her mouth on my hip....and the conversation moved to her, as it often does.  And this lady looks at me and says, "I have a story for you.  It's kinda funny.  And I'm pretty proud of it..."

I admit, I balked a little...many of these "funny stories" are weird and random, and often wouldn't be a story if the child starring in the story had been typical...and those annoy me.

But she goes on to tell me of an interchange that her son had had. 

Apparently, her son in high school had a break of sorts, where he gets water and a snack.  There was a young lady, very petite, who would peek around the corner, smiling at him.  She reminded him of his little sister.  This led to him smiling sweetly back and his asking her how she was doing.  Then she'd come around the corner and they'd talk a little.  He'd ask how she was doing.  What she was learning and doing in class.  What all she was up to.  It became a daily habit.

One day, a teacher pulled him aside.  He got a little concerned, and asked what was wrong.  She wanted to tell him, how very proud she was him.  He was perplexed.  "For what?"  She told him that the young lady he chatted with every day, called him HER "Mr. Number 67" (because he wore his football jersey once a week).  And that he had turned around her behavior in school.  She started doing her work in class, and improving tremendously, simply so she could tell him what she was doing.  She was proud to tell him of her accomplishments, because he genuinely cared.

The young lady that Mr. Number 67 took an interest in, has Downs.  She felt an importance was given to her and her accomplishments when a peer took interest in her.  This is something that even the best teachers cannot do...

When your kids wonder how treating someone with a disability matters.  THIS is why.  They can take away self-confidence or they can give it as a gift.

So, to Mr. Number 67's mother...Yes, be proud of your son.  This is a glimpse at his character.  This is indicative of the man he is becoming.  Thank you.