We were sitting in a sandwich shop in my home town of Golden–my kids, Nathanial and Lilly, my mom and her lifelong friend Susi–when I looked out the window to see a father with his son, about the same age as my boy, taking a rest in the shade.
The father sat down, looking exhausted. Took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes and yawned. His boy was already sitting… in a very elaborate wheel chair.
This father’s boy was unable to lift his head, could not control his body or movements. Cerebral Palsy? Maybe… we could guess but it didn’t matter.
What I saw was a dad who was dealt a hand he didn’t ask for. Who clearly loved his son and was doing what any dad would do. Stepping up. Doing his best and loving his boy.
I thought about all that he missed. All that would never be. What it would feel like to see other kids run and play.
I asked both my kids to look out.. and pointed out that his boy has challenges. Obstacles that we don’t have. We are very lucky. We are blessed and lest we ever forget it.
make sure we call them “Inconveniances for some kids and
families have real problems, like this.)
Then I asked my kids if they thought other kids ever approached this boy or just talked to him. Said, “Hi?” They said, “No.” So, I asked them, would you go out and just make contact?
Will you say “Hi!” to him?
They looked scared but willing. “Yes, dad.”
They were excited that maybe they could make a difference. We had a bite of our food and turned and they were gone. We walked out front, looked left and right… even around the corner and they were gone. Like the wind.
I am sorry we missed the opportunity not just for the kids to say, “Hi,” but for me to say, “Nice work, Dad!” and just to give an acknowledging nod to this strong man.
Next time you think you can’t, the weights are to big or you’re just not strong enough to take the next step towards the finish line, think of the Strength some mothers and fathers live into every day.
You are asking for, calling forth your Strength. These men and women are being called forth. They didn’t ask for but were called upon.
Life isn’t fair. True. But it’s not about fair it’s about playing the next best shot with the lay you’ve got. It’s about taking the next step with clarity and intention. It’s about loving the hand your dealt like it’s the one you wanted with all your soul.
Now, stand up, and get out there and give it your real FULL STRENGTH…and make sure to acknowledge others who are doing the same. It’s through the whole, the connection, the support of “us” that we all grow Stronger.