Leo sometimes, is beyond description. I often flounder, unsure of where to start, in those chance meetings at playgrounds or stores. How to explain him? What do people see when they look at him? A kid who just isn't quite right? How to put his remarkable life in a couple sentences? Impossible. One time at the grocery store, the checkout clerk gently touched his cheek and said, "this little one's been through a lot hasn't he?" I was struck dumb, staring at her. What a lovely and perceptive thing to say. She went on to explain that she worked at one point at our hospital in the cranio clinic. She recognized Leo as such a warrior because of his scars and head shape. I felt amazed by the depth of her understanding and her open manner. After those first couple years of Leo's deformity, and my resulting heightened sensitivity to strangers around him, I was blown away by her spontaneous kindness.
In this fast world of hardness and unemotional screens, a positive and heartfelt human interaction is rare, fleeting, and twice as memorable.
How insecure and desperate we all are. But I am proud to say that Leo suffers these things not a bit.
He's a simple guy, with simple joys. He's reminding us to slow down; to savor the little sweet things. Savor them, until the goodness overflows the badness.
Every little minute in this life is a blessing. So count em up!
And if your blessings look like beans, that's ok too, because you can always cook those suckers into a tasty dish.
Which just goes to show, blessings are always dual purposed. Or thrice if you really are counting beans...
Because beans ROCK for sensory therapy! (dry beans...not cooked of course, eewww!)
Leo has been working on exploring different textures, to try to help with his sensory sensitivities, hence the beans, rice, water, etc. He is loving how he can play us. It all for therapy guys! So go ahead and buy that water/sand table.
I suppose that I sometimes avoid those chance meetings with strangers for the reason of not being able to sum up my little man in just a brief conversation. I'm just always forgetting my special blessings, and assuming that everyone has reached perfection and who needs beans anyway? They are like, so yesterday...
Leo never worries about that kind of stuff. His beans are simple. He worries about getting his hair brushed, going to the doctors, taking his meds, and loud noises like plates in the sink or nails being pounded, but he never worries about what people may think of him. He doesn't care about that. He shares his heart (and beans) so freely and gives hugs to strangers. You know that quote by William Butler Yeats: There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't yet met? Well, he was talking about Leo, naturally.
The Barefoot Boy
by John Greenleaf Whittier
Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,'
I was once a barefoot boy!