Well, today is the last of the themed babe posts from Deorio’s. Today’s takes the cake. If I could give a prize to this child, I would.
He’s seven and mildly autistic. He plopped his beautiful red-headed self down on part of my thigh while I waited. His aunt was on the other side of him. He turned around, looked at me with beautiful blue eyes and we chatted. Here’s our impromptu script:
Him: “Guess what?! I am getting a new eye!”
Me (somewhat taken aback by such a comment): “You are?!” At this point I stared at his eyes and noted his right one was a tad bit smaller than his left.
Me: “Is one of your eyes real and one not?”
Me: “Have you had cancer?”
Him (smiling and nodding): “Yep!”
Me: “How old were you when you had cancer?”
Me: “Wow! That was a while ago! Are you about seven now?”
Him (smiling and nodding more because I guessed it just right!): “Yes, I am!”
Me: “Now that you’ve gotten bigger, I guess you need your eye to catch up in size? Is that why you get to have a new eye?”
Him: “Yep. And I’m going to Philadelphia to get it!”
Me: “I think that is wonderful! Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! I hope you have a great trip.”
And then they called us to our table and that was the end of the conversation. However, that’s not the end of the story.
As Rob and I sat down, I told him about the conversation with “handsome seven”. He smiled and said, “I guess he didn’t take his eye out for you to see it? He had done that on my side of the room. His mother was pondering what she would do with the old one. They had enlarged it to its capacity and now she doesn’t know what to do with a leftover eye that’s too small.”
“Handsome seven” had not blessed me with his eye in his hand, but if he had, I think I would have gotten a hoot out of his comfort to do so with me.
I think when he told me he was getting a new eye, I lost the ability to think clearly in that moment and ask him his name, although I think his aunt had told me. Sadly, I don’t remember it.
I think what struck me so much that night with this young guy was his enthusiasm over what he had and what he was getting as opposed to what he had lost six years ago.
It was a teachable moment…for me. How many times do I focus on what I am losing, giving up, regretting rather than sensing the blessing in what remains or what good can come from what most would perceive as bad?
When I looked at his family surrounding him and each other with all the extended relatives, too, I was blessed by their happiness and the fact that their lives had moved on. This was just another day out and one more person who knew a young boy had a fake eye that he could pop in and out at whim.
The past was not paralyzing them. It was one of those holy moments I wrote about a few entries back.