Today I went to the library, and while I was there, I saw something so touching I had to write about it.
I was in the YA stacks of the Children's Library, and I heard this soft voice saying, "No, Dad, that word is 'running.' You know the word 'run,' so just put the 'ing' to it."
Another soft voice, somewhat deeper: "He wa...was run..running too far.." "No, Dad, not 'too far,' 'too fast.' Try it again."
A silence. Then the deep voice said, "I don't know, honey. I don't think I'll ever learn again."
The sentence was spoken in bits and pieces, with pain evident in each word. I didn't want to be a snoop, but I guess I am. I had to know what was going on. I stepped quietly around a couple of bookcases, and stopped. In front of me was one of the round tables for small children, complete with the little chairs. On one chair, stooped over and barely sitting on the seat, was a tall, thin man with his face in his hands. Sitting next to him, on the table itself, sat a young girl about fourteen. Sweet face, dark curly hair, dark eyes full of tears. She sat with one slim hand on the man's shoulder.
"Dad, you will learn again. Look how far you've come this year. I won't let you stop learning until you can read all your own books again."
He raised his head and smiled at her. He got up slowly and painfully ( any adult who's ever sat in one of those kindergarten chairs knows you can't get up any other way, no matter how strong you are!), held out his hand to his daughter, and they carefully picked their way around the other tables to the check-out counter.
I checked out behind them, and as I walked out, I saw the father pointing at various trees, cars, a rabbit hopping by...and naming them all for his daughter. She was laughing and hugging him around the waist as I drove off.
Teacher in reverse: daughter teaching father all the things, and in the same loving, patient way, that father had once taught his daughter.
How wonderful. How remarkable. Courage, love, and patience all bound up in one beautiful, 14 year old package.
What remarkable thing have you seen lately?
Until next time,
That's a wrap.