Little Stories

Things are super extra hard right now, but tonight, I want to focus on the positives. Today, my kiddo finished second grade! He had to work so so so hard to gain new skills and learn new information and I am so very proud of him. I’m excited for our big Christmas break before third grade! These times of having no school and less expectations and responsibilities to war over are always healing for our relationship. I’m ready for that closeness.

We celebrated with lunch at his favorite restaurant with his grandma. Dessert first, of course! And then our little family headed to Santa Land tonight as a special treat. It was wonderful and he loved it. And as we were leaving, the most spectacular encounter happened. We were out in the parking lot trying to get him into the car, when another car pulled up into an empty spot nearby and out stepped a man. An ordinary young man with his wife or girlfriend, no kids yet. Javan said hi, and the man said hi back. Then Javan struck up a conversation, saying, “We’re leaving now, but I was really hoping to make some new friends here.” The man walked the extra space over to us, shook hands with Javan and introduced himself as Zack. Zack asked Javan how he liked the lights, I reminded him to answer. I then prompted Javan to say goodbye and he asked the man for a hug. I silently and simultaneously was ecstatic that he had verbally asked permission before hugging a “friend” and was afraid he would be rejected. Zack accepted the hug and returned it, and that was the end of our night.

That might not seem like a big story to you. I guess it’s really not. It’s a little story. And sometimes those are the ones that can have the most impact. You don’t have to do “big story” things or have “big story” relationships with people to impact them. Zack saw someone who acted different, and he chose to see Javan’s big, beautiful heart. Zack’s impact was that he made Javan feel like this is a friendly world to live in, like he was someone worth being friends with, and that he was ultimately lovable. His impact on me was to remind me to let my “little stories” in others’ lives be good ones filled with kindness and love. Especially people who have obvious special needs or people who seem different or lonely or sad. I want my little stories to be Zack stories, don’t you?

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