Monday, May 7, 2012

Beautiful Blindness

My mom is in town from Oregon for a couple of weeks.  Yesterday we visited some relatives with her that we hadn't seen in years.  It was a great visit.  They are a wonderful family and it was good to catch up with them.  Their daughter is getting married soon to a BYU football player, and of course Taylor and Parker wanted a picture:
  It will be fun this season to have someone on the field we can root for personally.

My mom, always proud of her kids, gave me the delightful opportunity of singing a couple of original songs without the benefit of my guitar.  Nothing better than an amateur singer/songwriter crooning unknown musical works acapella.  But it's mom.  How do you say no?

The highlight of the night was Lexi's interaction with their son, Brad.  When Brad was in high school, he had a catastrophic football accident that has left him almost completely paralyzed and with every little communication.  I would guess that some children would be a bit hesitant to approach Brad and interact with him because he looks different.  But Lexi absolutely fell in love with him.  She talked to him and wanted to sit in his lap.  He was able to move his arms enough to wrap them around her in a hug.  I believe he even tried to hold her hand.  It was very touching.  But the best part was the singing.  Lexi sang some of her children's songs from church.  These are songs that Brad also grew up singing.  I had no idea that Brad could even move his lips, let alone sing, but I looked up and noticed that he was mouthing the words with her.  It was a beautiful moment to behold.  When I listened closely, I realized that Brad was actually singing.  It was very soft, but very clear.  Then I realized that in order for him to make this sound, his mother had to help him.  She had to push against his diaphragm so the air in his lungs would come out with enough force to create the sound.  With that help, he was able to sing along with Lexi.  Once Lexi realized how this worked, she insisted, "I want to help Brad!"  So Lexi pushed his chest and helped him sing along with her.  It was a tender and special experience.

How grateful I am that Lexi is blind to the disabilities of others.  How grateful I am that she is blind to the inhibitions that prevent many of us from expressing the interest and love we feel towards those around us.  May we all develop such blindness.


Jessica:  "Xander, I'm very sorry, but I'm going to have to tell you something that will break your heart.  Maya's dad is a dentist and today he told us that Jolly Ranchers are the worst kind of candy for your teeth.  I know...breaks your heart, right?"

Boys Will Be Boys

Yesterday morning Taylor comes in breathlessly excited.  "Dad, where's the camera???  Parker is stretching out Xander's face with his feet!!!"  Uh-huh.  Of course he is.

Growing Up

I love it when kids repeat something beyond their years that they've heard someone else say.  The other day I was talking with Sophi (I don't even remember what I said).  She looked up at me and said "Daddy, weally?"  with the voice inflection of a disinterested teenager.  Wonder where she could have picked that up...

(This is her "camera smile" these days:)