I witnessed the most simple of acts today that made such a huge impact on me. I brought my children to a play area at a nearby mall. Shortly after we arrived a father walked in with his daughter. She had physical traits that made me believe she probably had Down’s Syndrome and looked to be about 4 or 5. She was obviously a very adventurous girl judging by the fearless way she was climbing on the slides and other structures. Her father kept his distance but never once took his eyes off her. He was unsmiling and all I could wonder was if he had something troubling on his mind. Regardless, it was obvious his most important task was making sure she remained safe.
Something was so intriguing about these two, but it really is impolite to stare. I tore my gaze away from them and back on my own children. (yeah, I suppose I should make sure they are safe too.) After a while I felt compelled to find out what the father/daughter family were doing. I turned to find the little girl struggling to get up one of the slides. (there were no stairs just a makeshift fake rock wall.) Her father slowly made his way over and without a word lovingly reached out a hand. Knowing what she was supposed to do she eagerly placed her foot on his hand and used it as a boost up on to the slide. Her face was glowing with pride that she was able to climb her way up. He just casually made his way back over to his position of watching her with an eagle eye.
I was in tears sharing this story with hubby. I guess it affected me so much because most parents (myself included) would have just picked our children up and placed them on the slide. Instead, her dad recognized that giving just enough help would encourage her potential. In turn she recognized that she could not do it without him and gratefully accepted. Those are some pretty powerful lessons we could all use in life.
Please accept this blog as my virtual hug to you.