When I asked if there were any volunteers to help me return all my supplies to the art closet every hand went up. I loaded three of them up and we lugged all the stuff back to the library. As we walked one of the boys said, in the most heartfelt way, “I have a question. And maybe it’s mean, but I don’t think it’s mean…” to which I encouraged him to ask away. He told me he overheard some kids talking about Lucy going blind and that he noticed her eye shaking and he wondered what was happening to her.
I looked into his eyes and told him that was really a wonderful question and that I should probably come to the classroom and talk about exactly what’s happening with Lucy.
He looked right back at me and said, “can you do it right now?”
It was seriously the sweetest thing. I’ve always thought it would be a good thing to go explain things in detail to the kids (a friend did that with her child years ago…totally different issues, but it was a really positive thing). Her Braille teacher and I discussed it earlier in the year and we weren’t sure if Lucy was quite ready for that. We weren’t sure if her class was ready either.
But that afternoon as that sweet boy asked me those questions I realized the class was ready. And when I mentioned the idea to Lucy after school I realized she was ready too. A big huge smile crept across her face and she was so excited for me to figure out a time to come in.
So I did.
I coordinated with the Braille teacher and we both went in on Tuesday this week to tell all about BBS and what’s happening in Lucy’s world.
I started by explaining that we all have things that are good in life, and we also all have things that are tough. We talked about how Lucy wants to be an author and showed them the book she’s writing and talked about all the things she’s good at. Then we talked about the things that are tough for her, and told them all about what Bardet-Biedl is. The Braille teacher gave out worksheets for the kids to figure out their own names in Braille and they were mesmerized. Lucy got to show off her skills at reading Braille. There were jaw drops of amazement among the kids 🙂 They had all kinds of great questions like how do syndromes happen and why do we raise money and how do scientists figure out how to help and one mentioned she has a cousin who already uses a white cane and the Braille teacher talked about why Lucy has a different computer than the rest of them, and uses a different keypad (she can’t see the curser very well on regular computers and needs keyboards with better contrast…tough to see gray on white). She explained contrast and how Lucy doesn’t see it and Lucy helped a little to explain to the kids how she sees the world.
It was a good talk. I hope these kids will continue to ask questions and learn and grow, because knowledge is power. Hopefully we gave them all, including Lucy, a little extra power that afternoon.