23 May, 2008

Good. Kind. Kid.

I did it. I took Jake out with his buddy from school yesterday.
That little boy was so wonderful. Polite and the kind of kid we only
hope ours act like when apart from us.
He was a joy. Jake was so happy.
It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I mean it was later..but that's another story.


Okay the other story I can tell now that I am not trying to type from my phone...it was hard because LATER.. I got to thinking about how Jake's friend and I talked about all sorts of things he likes to do, and who he plays with, and when I dropped him off he was able to tell me where he lived, and who his neighbors are. He could read the menu. He ordered his own lunch. He asked if he could use the bathroom. He made a joke about something. Basically he was a "typical" kid (although he is actually more than typical, he is truly exceptional with his compassion and awareness of others and their feelings and needs.)

I got to thinking about the fact that Jake isn't like that. Now we have plenty of friends who have kids the same age who have sailed on by Jake with their abilities, but we have known those people forever, so it is sometimes painful when comparison is impossible to squelch, but generally that just stopped happening years ago. But here was a kid who is in the class next door to my kid. I am not often derailed with this emotion anymore. I know it will happen again and again as "typical" milestones come and go, but most of the time I prepare myself for them.

Last night I just had to swallow that little sadness and be so, so thankful that Jake's friend's parents have raised such a good kid. Thankful that Jake sends some sort of vibe out into the world that draws at least a few kids near him, (even a little girlfriend for awhile!) I praised Jake in the car after his friend left, letting him know that it speaks to his character that other kids like him even though he doesn't talk very much. I told him that some of his friends probably appreciate that he is a very good listener.

I swallowed that little pain (with a little cocktail I'll admit) knowing that I never would have met this delightful boy if Jake wasn't the child he is, and I probably never would have appreciated the wonder of watching a child read his own menu, buckling his own seat belt and thanking me for lunch. I am a better person with Jake in my life. I know I am. So I am choosing to be just ever so thankful to Jake's friend for being nice to my kid, for coming with us to lunch, and for wanting to do it again sometime...also for asking if Jake would like to play basketball at his house sometime.. .because Jake's friend? He volunteered to help Jake play.

Can I Sit With You?
buy it now at http://www.lulu.com/content/1466612


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