This. This photo right here. You have no idea what this photo represents to G and me.
Unless you have a child who has difficulties interpreting and comprehending the subtle nuances of social interaction, you more than likely don’t understand the magnitude of this photo. Unless you have a child who doesn’t “get” the give and take of social interaction, this photo probably seems mundane. Unless you have a child who doesn’t have a single real and true friend, you most likely don’t grasp the overall import of the seemingly simple interaction depicted in this photo. Unless you have a child who comes home from school in tears, sobbing that his classmates think he’s the dumbest kid in his class and ostracize him from much of the day’s classroom and playground interactions, you can’t possibly comprehend the joy this photo brings to two concerned parents. Unless your child pleads with you to “find a friend” for him, you can’t possibly understand how this photo shatters two parents’ hearts into a million tiny shards.
A friend is something most of us take for granted, yet is so very vital to our complete wellbeing. We were created to be social creatures. When that simple, yet necessary component is lacking in our lives we are incomplete. It’s a vacancy we feel in our soul. And when you try your very best, oftentimes forcing the situation, the rejection can be gut wrenchingly debilitating.
This weekend we had the pleasure of spending Friday evening in the company of a family we’ve been promising to have over for dinner for years. They’re a family we instantly connected with at the skatepark years ago–G with the father, J-man with the son, and I with the mom. Yet, as life oftentimes does, it got in the way of the six of us getting together. Yes, G and I had a wonderful time conversing and laughing with “N’s” parents Friday night, but the highlight of the evening was how J-man and “N” related and interacted. It was a beautiful sight to behold, stopping G and me in our tracks time and again throughout the evening.
Sunday, while out on our 52-mile pedalabout, I received a text from “N’s” mom stating he wouldn’t stop asking when he could see J-man again. I replied, telling her we’d be back by one o’clock and he was welcome to come over. The two boys again connected instantly. They picked up where they left off, engaging in NERF wars, sword fights and playing Minecraft. Even the video game had serious interaction–communication, teamwork, instructing and encouraging one another and trash talking. I was in HEAVEN!
I’m a firm believer in the adage it’s the little things in life that make life so very rich. This photo is proof of that belief. Thank you, God, for answered prayers.
The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love. ~Hubert H. Humphrey