Everyone just loves to be recognized for his achievements, but few people make this need known so obviously as the little boy who said to his father: “Let’s play darts. I’ll throw and you say ‘Wonderful!'” Many of us, I suppose, would like to have a similar team going for them.
Kenneth was in junior high school and was excited and eager about participating in a day of Special Olympics events for kids like him who are physically or mentally impaired. He ran and won the first race. His parents were so proud of him. He himself was happy of his medal and the cheers from the crowd. He ran in the second race. He easily outran all the others but at the finish line he just stepped off the track. “Why did you do that, Kenneth? You could have won another race,” the parents asked. Kenneth innocently replied, “But, Mom, I already have a medal. Billy did not have a medal yet.” Sensitivity is the real winning game!
The boy was struck down with paralysis of the legs when he was three years old. It gradually spread over his whole body. He even became blind. Some months before he died, the mother was sitting weeping by his bedside, when he suddenly turned to her and said, “Why are you crying mummy? I still have a heart to love you.” His heart was not paralyzed!
“My six-year-old son, Willie, was thrilled when the tooth fairy left him a dollar. In the morning, as Willie got ready for school, he tucked the bill in his pocket. Afraid he might lose it, I suggested he leave the money at home. ‘Mom, I have to take it with me,’ Willie insisted. ‘Some of my friends don’t have enough money to buy chocolate milk” Those kids, concludes the mother who recounted this story in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ sure have a terrific friend, and Willie has one proud mom. Love redeems everything.
Teachers have the advantage (or misfortune) to have to face all kinds of adventures. “One year when I was teaching second grade, a new child entered our class mid-year. His name was Daniel. He was rather slow in learning… but he brought a lot of cheer to the class. Daniel came over to me at the end of his first school day. He said, “Ms. Johnson, I have a note for you from my old teacher. It’s not on paper though, it’s in my head.” Daniel leaned over and said, “She wanted me to tell you how lucky you are to have me in your class!” Children know each one is unique.
Tommy was a sweet, thoughtful, fun-loving son. One day when he was about five years old in the car with his mother, out of the blues he asked, “Mom, how old were you when I was born?” “Thirty-six, Tommy. Why?” mother asked, wondering what his little mind was contemplating. “What a shame!” Tommy responded. “What do you mean?” the mother inquired rather perplexed. His simple answer was “Just think of all those years we didn’t know each other.”
Ask children and they will tell you what love is. “God could have said magic words to make the nails fall off the cross, but He didn’t. That’s love.”
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.