Hi, friends. My church is small and rural, but a few months back, a lady began attending with her granddaughters, aged 6 and 10. I hardly remember how it escalated to this point, but those girls love me, and I love them. I’ve experienced some joyful moments as I’ve spent time with them and realized a unique way that we bless each other.
The little one, S, is a ball of boundless energy who makes every other kid look tame by comparison. The older one, M, is more mature and thoughtful–she’s the big sister who, I imagine, has always looked out for S.
When we arrive to church on Sunday mornings, S runs to me when she sees me, instantly asking over and over, “Can I push her? Can I push her? Please!” M likes to push, too, but her approach is calmer. She’ll ask ahead of time, “Can I push you to Sunday School class later?”
I’ve bought S toys and puzzles, but my wheelchair intrigues her more. [I still buy toys for S in the desperate hope of entertaining her for a few minutes. Five minutes can feel like an hour with a hyperactive child.]
I wouldn’t trade S for the world, but she can be a real handful. I’ll get tired of being aimlessly pushed around and suggest we go play or go eat a snack or something, but all she wants to do is keep pushing. Recently, when she wouldn’t listen to me and I actually needed to leave ASAP, I had to grab the wheels while she was pushing, causing my chair to topple backward on the floor. It’s happened to me before, so I knew what to do and wasn’t hurt, but S was sobbing because it scared her so badly. I hoped to teach her that accidents can happen when you don’t listen. In general, I’m trying to be a bit firmer, but I struggle to say “no.”
S has asked me several times why I use a wheelchair, but she forgets because she’s too young to understand. The other week, she made a hilarious comment.
S: *signs “I love you”* What did I say?!
Me: “I love you?”
S: Yes! I love you! *wraps her arms around my neck*
Me: Aw! I love you, too.
S: You know why?! Because you’re handicapped!
S: Me and M aren’t embarrassed of you!
M: No, we’re not.
Kids say the darndest things, right? I think what S meant is, “We love you just the way you are.” And I love them just the way they are.
Thanks for reading!