Living

Take a lesson from the special children: lighten up, share laughter

The Buddy walk is coming up Saturday in Gulfport so I thought it would be a good time to remind others that every day a “special” child enters the world.

In my heart of hearts, I know these children are given to us to brighten the world and to redefine our concept of perfect, for they are perfection. Some would say they are challenged, but in all honesty more often than not these children challenge us to become better human beings.

My grandson Bode was born with Down syndrome. He’s almost 3, and he fills a room with sheer delight. All it takes is a beautiful smile to appear on his face. The smile spreads and he begins cackling with laughter, laughter flowing out from some amazingly glorious place. He makes life better.

Then there is Bailey, also a beautiful little girl who seems to have been given the assignment of taking care of the “caregivers.” Bailey also has Down syndrome, but all she brings is “ups.” Fearfully and wonderfully made.

Sunday is not complete without seeing her moving with determination and purpose as she makes her way upfront to pray. Bailey doesn’t pray for her own needs, nope, she goes straight for the pastors.

She puts her precious arms around them and prays, hugs and loves on those who have the weight and care of all the rest of us on their shoulders.

The pastors are wise men that realize this little Bailey is an angel straight from heaven. She makes life better.

Then there is Hallie; another angel who navigates the world with an extra chromosome. She finds something wonderful to say about everyone. Her compliments are genuine; because she has to tell the truth. It is her nature.

Her mama told me when they are in the store or walking down the street, Hallie will spot someone and say, “I ‘lika’ your dress or I ‘lika’ your face.”

Her sweet comments make folks beam with pleasure, although, her mama cringes because she knows that Hallie speaks from a heart of telling it like it is.

It happened recently when they were in a store and very unkempt person, with tattered clothes and greasy hair was in the grocery line in front of her.

The person was attempting to purchase a bag of chips. Hallie pointed and in a loud voice said, “Hey, I ‘lika’ your…”

There was an uncomfortable pause as she eyeballed the person and searched, really searched, for something to say. Then a beaming smile lit her face and her finger pointed at the fellow saying, “I ‘lika’ your bag of chips.” She makes life better.

That’ll preach. We need to take our cues from some very “smart” children. Look for ways to bring laughter, love and goodness to others. There’s enough of the other stuff. “And a ‘special’ child will lead them.” Thank you for lessons that count. Perfection!

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.

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