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Monday, June 13, 2011

The Fast Team

We spent the week before my sister's wedding at Massanutten for a family vacation. It worked out perfectly since Kayla's last day of school was Fri and we left on Sat.

Right outside the room we stayed in was a really nice playground. Of course it was so hot the week we were there the kids could only use the playground early in the morning and later in the evening when the sun was setting!

One really nice evening the kids were at the playground with around 10 or so other kids. There was a set of twin boys who looked to be around Kayla's age. They each had some stuffed Mario Bros character they were running around with. Somehow Kayla and another little girl started chasing them and it became a big game. The twins were being chased off and on by any number of kids.

That game evolved in to a game of tag. Then at some point I guess the twins were trying to form teams. Kayla was over by us on one of those rocking animal toy things. The twins came over to ask her if she wanted to be on their team. And by 'team' I think it was just them and whoever else was running around chasing them.

I don't think Kayla was listening, or realized, that they were talking to her. So I said, "Kayla, they're asking you a question. They want to know if you want to be on their team."

Kayla, "Me? On you team?"

One of the twins, "Yeah, do you want to be on our team? We're the fast team!"

Kayla, "OK!"

I had to stifle my laughter. Kayla? On the fast team? Oh the irony! Kayla can run. She runs as fast as her legs will carry her, but she won't be winning any races anytime soon!

(Side note: speaking of races ... when I went to have lunch with her at school one day I noticed she had a scrape on the knee. Her teacher said that she and Keagan were racing to come inside from recess and she tripped. When I mentioned to Keagan about the race he said, in a very matter-of-fact way, "Yeah. She won." He's so sweet; I'm pretty sure he let her win.)

If you had 2 groups of runners, Kayla wouldn't be on the 'fast' team. Nothing against Kayla, she probably gets it from me! I'm not a fast runner myself and wouldn't win any races either.

After I finished laughing to myself at the thought of those boys asking Kayla to be on their team, the fast team, what I wanted to do was hug those boys.

They didn't look at her any differently. They didn't shun her. They didn't make fun of her. They didn't snicker at her. They didn't see a disability. They didn't think anything was 'wrong' with her. She was just another kid on the playground. Running around with all of them. They had no second thoughts to singling her out to ask if she wanted to be on their team. She was just like them; having fun. She was absolutely, without a doubt, fully included.

Moments like those I want to freeze in time. I want to always remember, because I know we will encounter the opposite kind of moments along this journey too. And to balance those not-so-pleasant times we need these wonderful moments to hold on to. To remind us that there really are good kids who will see Kayla as an equal peer.

In that moment I loved those boys for either seeing no differences or for looking beyond any differences.

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Michelle said...

I love this!!!!!!

my family said...

beautiful moments

Anonymous said...

Fantastic!! Wish I could have been at the playground while all this was going on!!! :) Yes, freeze those moments....love mom/memaw

Not a Perfect Mom said...

okay, seriously, if you're going to keep making me cry I'm not coming over anymore!

and the only way I'd ever run is if you set a lion after me...

Beth said...

YAY for goodness in this world!! It really does exist - too much attention is given to the negative nowadays!! Thanks for reminding us of the goodness in people!!!!

Rebecca said...

This made my day. Totally and completely made my day. I wish we could take the feelings and attitudes of those little boys and pass them on to everyone. What an awesome experience. Thanks for sharing.

Mom24 said...

That's so awesome! What lovely boys with such pure hearts.

Becky said...

This was an absolutely wonderful post, and I want to hug those boys too. It is moments like that I wish we could capture and show those that only see the differences. Those boys represent how it should be always....