Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Shake hands

This morning I was trudging along on my way to work when I passed a bus stop. A woman and her child were waving goodbye to someone on the bus, and I saw that the child, who was about five or six years old, had Down Syndrome.

When the bus left they turned away and started walking towards me. The little boy, who was trailing behind his mother and holding onto her hand, stared at me with open curiosity. Then, as they passed me, he looked up into my face and held out his free hand to me.

I took his hand, and the happiness on his face, the feeling of that little warm hand in mine, and his mother's smile when she turned to see why her wee boy was holding back, made me feel that perhaps today was going to be a good day after all.

It was, too. It wasn't bad at all.

I think that that little boy should be hired out to people who are suffering from the blues and getting cranky. He was magic. That was better than any counseling session. It was like being given an intravenous injection of love and forgiveness for every sin ever committed, plus a bunch of misdemeanors, petty offenses, and ungenerous thoughts. When I let go of his hand and waved goodbye the world was fresh and new and hopeful, and I felt smiley all the way through, from the bottom of my boots to the top of my head.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lovely. But probably a good thing you were not wearing the seriously silly glasses.

kenju said...

I have read that people with Downs, especially children are the most guileless and the most loving people alive. I think, for you, this morning, that child was an angel in disguise, coming to bring you joy.

Kay said...

Thanks, badaunt, it made me remember when I was too tired to walk to work in Kobe and took the bus, it was the bus taking mentally challenged kids (and their Moms!) to the special school at my stop--those days always made me go to work smiling and on top of the world. Now, after 21/2 years caregiving, I wish I'd known to speak to those Moms--"good for you" or "What a lovely boy" (they were all boys!) .... but their gift to me was great! Thanks, badaunt.

Cheryl said...

Wow, deep.

And very very smiley.

All at once. :-D

Potentilla said...

Having any small child smile at you or cuddle up to you or say they love you feels like the ultimate compliment, since you know that if they thought you were weird or frightening or smelly they would probably say so.....

I guess that's one of the reasons that people have children. But having a child not your own do one of those things is even more complimentary-feeling (I should think).