Monday, April 3, 2017

To the Strangers Who See My Disabled Son

my son

To the dad of one of my son’s preschool classmates: 

This morning, like every morning, you said hello to my son. But unlike every morning, this morning as you were sitting on a bench outside of the classroom, waiting for your daughter to change her shoes, my son approached you and reached out his hand, and you did something unexpected. You picked him up and sat him on your lap, just like you would with your own child, and you smiled at him. 

When your daughter was done changing her shoes, you asked her to walk with my son into the classroom. You asked her to hold his hand, which she gladly did, and help him get his name card off of the classroom door.

I was so touched by your kindness and by the lessons you were teaching your young daughter: to respect others—differences and all—and to help people when they need it. 

Thank you for teaching your young daughter these important lessons and for helping make the world a more tolerant place.

To a lady on the train on a difficult morning: 

Our usual train wasn’t running, so my son and I got onto a different train, which would take us on a long-ish detour. The train was crowded, and I had to stand. My son was sitting in his stroller, and for whatever reason, he wasn’t happy. 

I tried picking him up and holding him, but that was difficult, as I was standing and the train was moving. So, I put him back in his stroller, and he continued to fuss and scream. 


You looked at him and smiled.

He looked back at you, he "hid" in his stroller, he looked at you again, he giggled. You played peek-a-boo with him for several minutes.

Thank you for distracting him from his bad mood and for bringing some joy to our morning. 

To the mom on the sidewalk who witnessed my son’s tantrum: 

It was after school, and I was trying to put my son in his stroller. He was arching his back and screaming. He wanted to walk, but we needed to catch our train. 

You walked by with your own son in a stroller, and after you did, you turned back and asked if I needed some help. 

You said that your son had just done the same thing 30 minutes ago when you tried to put him in his stroller. 

Thank you for your kindness and for helping me feel like I’m not alone.

To a bus driver at the station near our house:

My son loves to check out the parked buses—to walk circles around them, to walk up and down alongside them, to try to get on them.

You saw him and smiled, and you asked him if he wanted to sit in the driver's seat.

Thank you for your kindness.

To all of the strangers who look at my son and smile:

Thank you for bringing some extra joy into our lives.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


What acts of kindness have you experienced from strangers?

Please share in the comments below!

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