Sunday, April 24, 2011


My in-laws have a big backyard that runs seamlessly into the next yard and the next. When playing behind their house, Ryan likes to run the length of this mega-yard; the neighbors don't mind. Today, the neighbors were having a family party, and there were about ten kids playing together.

At first Ryan ran past them and lurked behind a tree, but then one of the girls asked Ryan if he'd like to play with him. He beamed.

"Do you know how to play Spud?" Ryan made no attempt at answering.

The kids explained the rules to him, and then, sensing he didn't really get it, they assigned him a partner to shadow until he got the hang of the game. A tween boy in braces held Ryan's hand and told him when to run (and occasionally hid behind Ryan to avoid being hit with the ball). The kids truly embraced Ryan. They were patient and made him feel included.

One girl wandered into the house and returned with a cookie. My mother-in-law quietly asked her to please not share with Ryan, as he is allergic and the cookie could make him sick. The girl shared this directive with her big sister (who was probably around nine). Then, unprompted, both girls disappeared into the house, and when the returned, they announced they had just washed their hands, for Ryan's benefit.


Then, before introducing Ryan to their puppy, they asked if Ryan was allergic to dogs.


Someone has trained these children very well.

Ryan played with these kids for a solid 15 minutes. I can't say he ever really "got" the game, but he had a wonderful time playing, and the other kids intuitively understood the parameters of his abilities and manipulated the game so he could participate.

Happy Easter.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for people who get it and train their children well. I have a local family like that and it is so refreshing to be with them.


Keep it civil, people.