Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Frisbee Moment

Today was another beautiful day. Cyr left for Brazil for the week and I have the apartment all to myself (read - I am being completely lazy and have not cleaned anything up since he left). My friend O called and we met for lunch then went for a walk to the Citadel and sat in a park for quite a while. We talked about life and love and watched a group of children play frisbee. There was a boy in the group who had problems with his legs, he couldn't walk or run very well. He would stand in the same spot under a big tree waving his hands and calling to his friends hoping for someone to throw the frisbee to him, or even just near him. Every time it would come close he would hobble over to try to get it but the other kids would always beat him to it. He never was able to get the damn thing. The other children seemed oblivious of him, as if they couldn't even see him. We sat for an hour, and for an hour he never got the frisbee. I found myself wanting to go to the group and grab it and throw it to him. The longer we sat there the harder it became for me to watch. They were not mean to him, they didn't taunt him, they just didn't make an effort to include him.

I have never been in exactly the same situation as this little boy, but I felt like on some teeny itty bitty level I could identify with him. No one likes to be left out, therefor I think people should make an effort to not leave out others. I just kept watching the group and thought to myself; "They must not know he wants so badly to play. If they knew, surely they wouldn't just leave him standing there alone, waving his arms and calling their names." But how could they not know? I knew and I was across the park. They were right next to him.

A little over an hour into our watch a girl all of a sudden turned and threw it right at him. I could see his eyes and mouth spring open wide with excitement as he grappled to try to pick it up. When he finally got it under control in his hands he was so excited he squealed and immediately threw it. It did the sort of up and back thing that frisbees do when not thrown level and came back not far from him, the other kids got to it first of course. He then laughed the shrill laugh of a child and covered his face with his hands and giggled. That one little throw probably made him forget the entire previous hour that he stood under the tree all alone. The great thing is, when he goes home I bet he talks about playing frisbee. Not about being left out. Not about being alone. Remember the good eh?

Course, I don't know anything about these kids, I could be completely off. But it's a nice lesson I think. If this kid can take away the good piece of his day (his frisbee moment), maybe I can too. My friend O is having a hard time right now with some things. I hope she remembers all her frisbees. I hope I can throw her one too.

1 comment:

Leesa said...

Hi Susan...

What a wonderful story to share... I taught special ed for 9 years so my kids were always being "left out" of stuff... and I worked really hard to integrate them in with the rest of the student population... One of my students took a drama class for two years.. The first year he tried out for the school's Talent Show, but didn't get selected.. The second year, he was selected and got a standing ovation from the audience after his act... I was sooo proud I had tears of joy in my eyes.. I felt like proud parent! I had many, many moments like that in my 5 years of teaching special ed at the high school level.... I celebrated ALL successes... big and small!!! And, one thing I instilled in my students was to be proud of their accomplishments!!