Over Thanksgiving the boys spent some time with a family friend. They knew she was coming ahead of time and were so excited to have someone kinda new visit with us. They didn't know a thing about her, just that she was coming.
Our friend has cerebral palsy. She uses a walker, sometimes a wheelchair and wears AFOs like them. She doesn't communicate as well as others her age. She has a hard time eating with the manners we expect. She has quite a few challenges she's fighting to overcome.
My boys didn't see any of those things. My boys saw another friend in our house. They welcomed her and included her, or at least tried, in everything they did. Even going upstairs to play in their bedrooms. They didn't ask me why she does this or why she can't do that. They accepted her for her. And they can't wait to see her again!
It made me so very proud of them. And it reminded me of the times I see people who are different than me and I wonder about them. I thought of being that new kid in a group or walking into a group of new people for the first time and how painful it is. Since having the boys, I don't like the idea of walking into new places without them. Even going to the grocery store by myself is strange, it's hard to explain the exuberant counting of fruits and veggies when you're by yourself. Anyway, I thought of how God calls us to love everyone. Not just the people like us, not JUST our neighbors, our friends, our coworkers, our family, not just the people we see at church. God called us to love everyone. My two children, under the age of six (for a few more days) reminded me of that by the way they treat others. I am so thankful for them.
My prayer for them is that the love they share with others is shared with them. My prayer is that for all the times they welcome someone who is different, they are welcomed as well. Life's not easy and I'm not sure I want it to be either. But I do want my children to be loved, loved, loved.
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