Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Wonderful Gift

Today is Christmas Eve. We got the most wonderful gift today.

I was home with the kids, and Jason was at work. It was a typical day off--me still in my pajamas, as I hadn't had enough time to get myself together, as I was tending to Vivian, keeping her out of danger (now that she is walking), getting E exercised, both kids fed, not fighting, etc. I had just put Viv down for a nap, and was getting E's lunch together, when something extremely unexpected happened.

Our doorbell rang.

Two neighbor girls were at my door in their snowsuits.

"Can Elena come out and play?"

HUH? Honestly I did not know what to say...this has NEVER happened before. Sure, E has seen and probably played with these girls in some fashion, maybe while we were all on the same swingset in the summertime. Or some other time when everyone was already outside. But for someone to approach our door, blindly, asking E, without provocation, to come and play? IN THE SNOW?! The conditions could NOT be more difficult...I mean...were they serious?!

I asked the girls inside. I directed my caution at M, the older of the two girls (she's 10). "I hope you realize Elena is...um..difficult to handle, especially in the snow..." "Oh I know. I see E every day at school at recess. She gives me a hug every day. I can handle it."

I'M SHOCKED. "Okay..well, I can't go outside with you girls, as I need to be with Vivian...but I'll come out as soon as I can. You just come in the door and holler if you need help."

And I'm thinking, OMG they are going to come in and start yelling that E is face-first in the snow and they can't get her up or something. I'm trying not to freak out, looking out the front window as they help her into the snow. They play in the snow fort we made up the past few days, and they're just hanging out. WHEW.

Then I start crying. No one has ever come up to our house before to ask if E can play. EVER. It's just so...normal. And these girls weren't phased at all by E's difficulties...they were so nice, encouraging, sweet. So I got on the phone to M's mom, trying not to cry, but thanking her so much, as this little act of friendship meant so very much to our family. M's mom said 1) that she didn't know anything about M's plan to ask E to play, and 2) M talks about E just about every day. She says she has really noticed how she has changed this year. I'm amazed someone so young notices so much about my hard-working daughter.

Then my door opens. "Is Elena allowed to sled?" asks A, the younger of the two girls. "Sure", I say, wondering how they are going to get E up a considerable-size hill in thick, slick, iced-over snow. I start figuring out a way to get Viv's monitor outside and put on my boots/coat over my pjs. I run outside...

To see that M and E have already gone down the hill once. E is LOVING IT. I have no idea how M's little 10-yr old body could hoist E up that hill, I'm sure E didn't walk up it herself, but somehow they did it. I got out and helped, as I'm sure they couldn't carry E forever. I'd help E walk up the hill, then they would sled down with her. A's dad was outside, and again, I broke into tears about how special this day was. He has 4 kids, all normally developing...but he understood. Both M and A both have younger siblings, so if they wanted to play with someone younger they could have. But they came to our house, to play with E, to help her and just be around her, b/c they felt like it.

The most ordinary thing in the world, right? No...not for us. For us, today was extraordinary.

I can't say it enough...and I wish I was more eloquent in this post, but I'm tired and emotional...

THANK YOU!

15 comments:

Kristina said...

What a fantastic day! I'm sure both you and E will remember it for a long time. This story made me smile, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I think this is the most heartwarming story I have read in a long time. I really believe there are angels out there. Have a very merry christmas and give E a extra hug for everyone that is thinking of her today.

GingerB said...

This made me cry. I am delighted for your daughter and for you!

Andrew said...

That's a fantastic story. There's so much goodness in the human heart - I think it makes everyone's life a little richer to spread that around.

Anonymous said...

What a truly beautiful story. Amazing how the simplest things can be so huge.

Denise
mom to Ashlyn

Chelle said...

I cried and then cried again when I just read it again...........That was a trult extraordinary day that I hope will happen again for E very soon. People just don't understand how children do not see our childrens difficulties as a problem they see them as just one of the kids...
Rochelle

John said...

That is truly beautiful, and heartmwarming. Thanks for sharing. I had tears in my eyes. I can only imagine how much that meant to you and to little E. It is wonderful that you have kids like that as neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Just a beautiful story. I cried and I don't even know you all!!!
(happy, heartwarming cry)

Anonymous said...

HI AMY.. I USE CAPS BECAUSE ITS EASIER FOR ME TO SEE AND TYPE WITH... WHAT A GREAT STORY.. I TOO HAVE THE SAME TYPE OF CP AS ELENA, AND I REMEMBER HOW HARD IT WAS TO GET THE KIDS TO INCLUDE ME.. (BECAUSE I WAS NOT ABLE TO DO THINGS THEY WAY THAT THEY COULD) I OFTEN FELT LEFT OUT AND I WANTED SO MUCH TO BE INCLUDED..

THANKYOU FOR THAT STORY

MELISSA

Granny Sue said...

What a beautiful story. I can imagine how you felt as a mother, seeing your daughter included and cared for by her friends. Thank you for writing so we all can share your joy.

Anonymous said...

I had tears in my eyes reading this post. I know you are busy but you write so well, I'm wondering if you have ever thought about writing a book. Everything is explained so well, including social issues as well as physical challenges.

Maggie and Roger said...

That truly was beautiful. What great kids ALL of them were. Your little girl was brave and hardworking to get out there and have fun too!

Julia said...

What a beautiful story. In a world where little girls can be so cruel to each other, it is good to know this kind of kindness still exsits. So sweet!

caryanne said...

Awesome. Just awesome.

AddingOn said...

Hi,
My name is Cara, I adopted a little girl 7 months ago who happens to have CP, spastic diplegia, I guess considered mild/moderate. I know how you feel in this post. I can tell you Anastasia came here from Russia at the age of 7 (she'll be 8 next month) and the kids in her class have been nothing but kind and understanding. At first the neighboorhood girls wanted nothing to do with her, but now there are several girls who play with her regularly, they are patient with her too.