Friday, April 3, 2009

Willing Little Warrior

I took Brent with me to pick a toy from our toy closet this morning. I said, Hold my hand, let's get a toy. This is not part of our routine. He lifted a limp hand to put in mine and I turned back and leaned down beside Brent to say We will be right back, Mommy. Brent's beautiful blue eyes were somber through this exchange looking at me in his quiet, serious way. I was pretty sure he had no idea where we were going, or why, and he had no idea what I had said to his mom. Still, he came with me, willing to take on so many unknowns just because I asked.

At the toy closet, Brent looked over the toys and games carefully but stayed very serious given the riches I had set before him. He did not reach out to select anything. I encouraged him to desire something saying, Brent wants..... No response for a while so I waited while he looked longer. Brent finally saw a toy stoplight and looked suddenly alert. He did not look at me but he said, Do you see Stoplight? He was not asking me if I saw the stoplight but rather was imitating what others say when they notice his interest in something--he was tentitively requesting the stoplight. I said Brent wants stoplight. OK and handed the box to him.

Brent dropped to the floor immediately and opened the box to pull the stoplight out. Wait. I said, gently as I took the box from his hands. We will play in Tahirih's room. Since I had picked a second toy to take back with us, my hands were full and the lid to the stoplight box was on the floor. Get the lid. I said. No response. Pick the lid up. I tried. No response. I touched the lid with my foot and said Brent, pick up the lid. Brent immediately put his foot on the lid too. Brent did not understand a word I had said but, sweet boy, he was quite willing to do what he thought I wanted him to do.

I don't know why, exactly, but this moment made my heart feel--I don't know what to call it. When a child is so willing and so brave, I feel some constellation of admiration, sadness, and love.

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