FLOURISH FRIDAY

Even though it was a rainy day, it was a great day. Many of you probably know that I am a retired Special Education teacher. I loved my students and really enjoyed my job.

 Today, my husband and I visited his daughter near Philadelphia. She has two sons. One son is on the spectrum. I was so pleased how well-adjusted and socially involved he was with us. He even gave me a hug.

 On the way to the boy’s favorite Italian restaurant, he held conversations with me. Several to be exact. I was thrilled. Long story short, this young man who is caring, played and will continue to play football, loves the Eagles and the Steelers, is curious, loves pizza, ice hockey, and riding his scooter, is making impressive progress.

 Will he have a setback now and then? I am sure he will. However, I believe that the tools he is learning, the consistent reinforcing of social skills, continued support and encouragement in sports, allowing him time to work through feelings, loving him, and giving him opportunities to explore other interests is a win-win. He is also very polite and remembers his manners.

 This handsome young man also participated in his first Holy Communion a few years ago. He is a vessel of love reaching out, teaching us what his world is like.

This is where this part of my story stops, and a new one meanders in.

Children are a precious gift.  Each one has talents and treasures. I have always loved how inquisitive they are, their smiles, laughter, silliness, sweetness and even the twinkling in their eyes.  And yes, I also loved those who had quirky behaviors, mischievous, and of course, those with multiple disabilities.

 Somehow, I saw past all the disabilities, and behavior issues and focused on their hearts. To this day, I never met a child I didn’t love.

I like how children teach us every day about love. Did you ever see the excitement in a child’s eyes when they look at a butterfly for the first time or a little puppy?  A cloud of perfect love hovers around them spreading to all those nearby.

My reason for writing this story is simple. Children are children regardless if they have disabilities, or not. They are the key that continues to teach us the true meaning of love, forgiveness, and acceptance.

It is up to us, to love them unconditionally, guide them, play with them, read to them, and teach them right from wrong. It is up to us, to encourage all children to always do their best, be respectful, and kind to everyone they meet.

No doubt about it, children are a precious gift from above.  In this day and age, let’s do our part to make sure they are loved, cared for, know that they are important and to make sure they feel safe. I believe that God smiles down on us, especially the children. And when we are happy, and our children are happy, God is happy too.