Meet our third Super Hero: The Boy Who Said Hi.
It really is that easy, you know.
I was standing in line to meet Paralympic Gold Medalist Victoria Arlen. The Boy Who Said Hi asked his grandfather why they were meeting her. He replied by saying Victoria is a world class athlete who has worked really hard and competed in London this summer. His response was totally strengths based. If that sounds like no big deal to you, it’s because you haven’t had to sit in a meeting and listen to a litany of deficits and can’ts about someone you love. There was no “poor girl in a wheelchair” lilt to his voice. None. But really, how could there be? Victoria went from hardly moving at all to breaking world records in swimming in just two years.
Aidan was really vocal while we were waiting in line because he was upset at being in his wheelchair and not being able to drive. The Boy Who Said Hi asked his grandfather, ‘Can he talk?” I jumped in with, “His name is Aidan and actually, this is how he talks but he doesn’t use words like you.” The boy wanted to know what was wrong with him. I said that unlike Victoria Arlen, Aidan was born this way and his muscles aren’t very strong but he can take some steps. This little boy declared that his muscles weren’t strong either because he hadn’t stretched that day.
We went on to have a great conversation. He told me all about turning 8 in a few days and how he doesn’t like frosting and how he had two birthdays at a bowling alley. You know… regular conversational stuff. He asked what kind of cake Aidan likes for his birthday and if Aidan hit any pins when he went bowling.
The Boy Who Said Hi is a Super Hero to me because he’s such a regular kid and treated Aidan the same way. He was able to see Victoria as an athlete instead of a girl in a wheelchair. There shouldn’t really be a story here. This should be a run of the mill conversation, and certainly, if felt that way. But because there are still so many awkward moments, hard stories, and strange stares, I will celebrate this simple conversation until I don’t even notice how precious it is.
This Boy Who Said Hi is a Super Hero. You can be one too.
Please remember to use the comment section this week to ask questions of Victoria Arlen and her mom. I’ll be sending them on to them next week. This is an exciting opportunity to hear from some incredible Super Heros.
Shared at Joy in This Journey