What Would You Say?
Walking in a big box store, I heard a child say to his father, “Look at the baby.” I have heard this comment before. Many times I have walked past and not said a word. After all, I don’t know this boy or his parents. Could this be a teachable moment or should I stroll on by? That is a decision I had to make in a split second.
For a reason I can not fathom, I chose not to let it go. I turned to the little boy and said he is not a baby, he is 13-years-old. Then I looked up at the father and said, “My son has dwarfism.” He nodded thoughtfully in response.
Then I walked on and wondered why on earth I felt compelled to offer an explanation to complete strangers. Why now, when many other times I have remained silent? Was I hoping the father would ask me more questions and help his son understand that in someway we are all different and should embrace these differences? Yes, but that did not happen.
How will I respond next time this opportunity passes my way? I don’t know. What I can do now is share these experiences with you. Offering you an opportunity to share the beauty of who Samuel is with your children and family. To show that love exhibits itself in many forms.
A Mother’s Love
The first form is the love of a mother for her child. The amazing experience of completely loving my son like he is a part of me. A part of my heart living outside my body. The part of me that holds my breath when he coughs or sneezes. The part of me which experiences pure joy when I hear him laugh. The part of me that cries out to God for help when he is in trouble. This is not a special needs mom’s heart (though it is), but a mother’s heart.
The other form of love is when others see the joy of a little boy and look past the many differences that dwarfism presents. When others see past the trach and his small stature but are dazzled by his brilliant smile. When another child comes over to him, despite his differences, smiles, and waves in delight. When complete strangers beam with joy meeting our little guy for the first time. Like the lady in the grocery store who tracked us down at the check out counter to tell me Samuel smiled at her and it took her breath away.
What is the purpose of the love Samuel gives and receives without saying a word? I have had a grown man tell me he had a particularly hard day. He noticed Samuel’s smiling picture, and he thought to himself, “If Samuel can smile (despite all his physical challenges) then I can make it too.” Seeing Samuel’s smile made his hard day a little easier. What a purpose. Helping others in the midst of their circumstances.
So, how will I respond next time I hear, “Look at the baby?” I think I’ll offer a knowing smile and keep silent understanding what a treasure Samuel is not only to me but to many others. His worth is not summed up in his little size but by his big personality. His worth is summed up by a mother’s love, human love and ultimately God’s love.His worth is not summed up in his little size but by his big personality. Click To Tweet
Have you ever found yourself not knowing what to say but thinking of a great response later? Or have you ever said something and wondered why you said it? Would you have said it differently given the chance? Share your story below. I read each one.