Yesterday I took Evan to a new playground. Taking him to a playground always sounds great to me in theory. I get excited for him to play on the equipment, have opportunities to try walking, climbing, and socializing. Change of scenery for both of us, which is nice. Then I get there, and many times I end up leaving with a knot in my stomach.
-Sometimes there are lots of parents and kids. Which is great when you can let your child run and play or at least step back from them a little when they are in the sandbox or small equipment. But I can’t do that. (not yet anyway, I know the day will come). So instead, I follow him around like a hawk, supporting him as he climbs, pushing him on the swing, and trying to keep him from crawling after strollers.
-Sometimes those parents do very normal, kind things like ask me how old Evan is when they see him crawling or trying to walk and keeling over. Then I take a moment and say 2. More often than not, the very kind parent will look slightly quizzically at me and at Evan and then say, oh… and smile. Sometimes I follow that up with, “he is a young 2.” But other than that, I don’t really delve into it. But then there is an awkwardness, an unspoken understanding that we both know that he looks a little small for two, and his babbling and lack of walking do not really reflect his age either.
-Sometimes Evan will find a child he is interested in, and try to communicate with him or her with babbles, or use their pant leg to stand up. Luckily children have been pretty kind to Evan and they will tolerate this or even try to engage him. Once or twice though, he has been met with a scowl and a “what are you saying??”
Yesterday however, was not one of those days.
Evan was walking to get to the little boy on the rocking plane. I kept at a distance to see how long he would independently walk. When he reached the plane, I overheard the boy saying to Evan,
That may not always happen.
But yesterday it did.
Kindness exists, and so does hope.
I will continue to believe that more of these moments will happen.