I truly believe that W could change the world if he wanted to. He has this amazing positive effect on people. To know W is to love W. I was reminded of this several times this weekend…
I took Friday off so W and I could spend the day together. I had chosen Friday awhile ago and it worked out perfectly. The weather was the warmest it’s been all year (as I type, we currently have snow on the ground). I decided we would go on our first zoo trip of the year. We had a blast. The monkeys and the meerkats were W’s favorite and he actually started to cry as we left the meerkats and headed toward another exhibit.
I had this perfect plan – we’d go to the zoo, W would sleep during the nearly 1 hour ride home, and then we’d visit A’s class. Well, W had other plans and did not sleep at all. I debated whether or not we should still visit A at school. I ultimately decided to go. If W fell asleep on the way there, we’d visit another time and if W got too cranky, we’d just head home.
We arrived and W was awesome. My typically shy around people he doesn’t know boy walked around the classroom, played ball with the students, and pointed out the clock. Several students in other classrooms wanted to meet W and we made the rounds. The students LOVED him. But my favorite part was the interaction with the autistic students. Now, I don’t know very much about autism. What I do know is that many autistic students thrive on consistency and W being there could have easily set them off. We met one student who came up to W and played peek-a-boo with him. W proceeded to laugh and smile at the boy. They both seemed to enjoy each other’s company. Another boy we met in the hallway. A explained that W was his son and the boy repeated “my son”. After that, whenever we saw the boy, he would say “my son”. It was really cute and heartwarming. There was another girl who apparently had little confidence and broke down from time to time. But she had no problem playing with W, talking to him, and offering toys. She even told me she was great with kids – no lack of confidence whatsoever. She was very sweet with W.
Here’s the thing I picked up on (and again – admittedly, I’m one of those moms who thinks her kid is the best)… W could have been incredibly cranky. We were at the zoo for 2 hours and in the car for another 2 hours. With NO nap. But W was perfect. He brought joy to so many of those kids. He brings so much happiness to nearly everyone he meets. And another thing – I think he was perfect for the kids. A explained to me that some lacked self-esteem and doubted themselves. Not around W. They had no problem at all interacting with him. There’s something special about a toddler – they view the world with innocent eyes. They do not judge. They do not criticize. They laugh at a simple game of peek-a-boo. They do not have high expectations or prejudice. And I think W made some of those students’ days.
I was reminded of this 2 days later, but with the other end of the spectrum…. We’ve been attending church as a family since W was 10 days old. We love seeing our church friends every week. Lately, A or I spends most of church in the lobby with W. He gets tired of sitting and wants to explore. Well, this Sunday, we were getting ready to leave after a long Palm Sunday mass when I turned around and saw W in the arms of an elderly man. He was talking to W and W was content. Typically, W would be crying, reaching for A or me. But he was fine being held by the older man and the older man had the biggest smile. So darn cute. And another example of W bringing happiness…. To young and old and everyone in between. I love my boy so much.