“Hey, what’s your name?” one little boy asked the other. “Run! Run!” the older boy replied, as if he didn’t understand the question. “Wanna run with me?” the younger boy asked. “RUN!” the other exclaimed. The younger boy seemed slightly confused but just shrugged his shoulders, smiled and said “okay! let’s go!”
And they ran and they ran, the older boy laughing wildly and yelling “the moon!” repeatedly, the youngest in the lead, smiling and red cheeked from the winter wind. From her spot not far away, the mother of the older boy sat watching carefully, ready to translate if need be or more than likely…explain. How many times has she heard herself say, “He has trouble with words, but he understands friendship!” or to another parent nearby “He had a brain injury as a baby, but he has come so far!” Always the cheerleader, as well as the referee.
But today she wasn’t needed. Not a single word, chirp or odd behavior needed an explanation, as two little boys ran out their energy, pleased with their instant friendship and the thrill of the chase. He was running as fast as his little legs would take him, rather than hiding at the top of the playground equipment and flinching when another child came too close. He was engrossed in the interaction required of chase, instead of running alone, back and forth, dozens of times, on the wobbly bridge that connects the slides. From her spot on the bench, she smiled. Something simple, yet amazing, was taking place right in front of her eyes. “Are you watching this?” she asked her husband, nudging him to turn his head from the sun and instead feel the warmth of a moment that has been so long coming.
(Corrigan and friend: running around the “moon”)