Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Girl Next Door

I have this story I've been wanting to share, but I'm having a hard time putting it in the right words to express the point I want to make, so I'm just going to dump my thoughts here. I hope you're able to glean the intent despite my lack of eloquence.

There's a family down the street, a grandmother and 2 kids around 8-10 years old. The kids lost two younger siblings and their father in a house years ago. Their mom, I don't know exactly, but she's still alive and visits twice a month. As you can imagine, the kids have some things they need to work through that often manifest themselves in certain behaviors (ex-aggression, compulsive lying). Because of these behaviors, the other parents in the neighborhood don't like them coming over or hanging out with their kids.

Earlier this week the girl came over to hang out with Josh. She was talking to me about pie, and we set a date to make a pie the next day. The whole time she and I were cooking, hanging out while it baked, and eating those first piping hot slices I wondered if this was the only positive interaction she'd had that day. I wondered why she wasn't baking with her grandma instead of me. She stayed over watching tv with me until her grandma came to call her home, and I saw why.

We all know of kids like this. Maybe they're friends with your kids. Maybe they live in your neighborhood. Maybe its a passing child at the grocery store and you see it in their eyes. Maybe your smile, encouraging words, open ears, undivided attention, or peaceful interaction is the only positive interaction they'll have that day. Maybe that one action will give them strength to hold on. Maybe it will give them hope. Maybe it will change their life.

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