This last summer I met a wonderful lady who has two grown children with special needs.
And for some reason when I meet someone like that, I can’t explain it but it feels like “home.” After telling me a little about her kids (both with unique needs even in their adulthood) she asked about Lucy. We hardly knew each other but my eyes welled up as I explained how wonderful her friends and support group are. Then I spilled out how worried I am about those sweet friends because I never want them to feel a burden of always looking out for Lucy.
She looked right in my eyes and said, “Don’t you ever feel bad about those who reach out. It will change their lives in wonderful ways.”
Then she proceeded to tell me how several of those kids who reached out to her children have grown up and come back to thank her for letting them be part of her children’s lives.
And for some reason that thought was so soothing to me. I know there are some not-so-magical parts of reaching out to Lucy. She can be moody and dramatic and stubborn, and when she’s in a chatty mood it’s tough to get a word in edgewise. But that little chat made me realize it’s ok. Because there are so many good things that balance it out, at least for those who are willing to stick around. And quite honestly it makes me tear up every single time I think about it.
Lucy is one lucky girl. She’s surrounded by a village of goodness on all sides.
Which brings me to last week when her Braille teacher and I got to visit all those cute fifth graders in her class and explain what in Heaven’s name BBS is. Because part of being a “village” sometimes takes some insight.
Last year some different factors came up and some questions arose in Lucy’s class of 4th graders as to why Lucy’s eye was shaking and why did she get a different computer and always get to sit in the front of the classroom. I told one of the cute kids asking during art masterpiece one day that I should come in and explain what’s going on with the whole class. He was all over that idea, and Lucy was ready, so we went in and did a lot of explaining.
I wrote lots more about that HERE
. It was a pretty great experience. At the end of the year her 4th grade teacher recommended we do something similar at the beginning of this year so that everyone can know what’s going on from the get-go.
And sure enough, that first week of school Lucy asked if I could go ahead and schedule that little meeting.
So I did. And it went pretty great.
I was super nervous going in this time. I don’t know why. I guess I just want so much to explain things in the right way and rally that little village of goodness in that class to understand from their hearts. This time Ms. Wells, her awesome Braille teacher, took the lead, and seriously, that woman is pure gold I tell you!
She explained all about vision loss and how it works and also explained all the “stations” the kids were going to get to do.
Then I got to talk about BBS specifically. I loved it because when I explained that even though Lucy is losing her vision, her other senses are helping her in so many extra ways, this one cute boy in front said, “it’s kind of like she has superpowers!”
And when I was done he was darling and said, “I think I’m kind of jealous!”
Then for 20 minutes or so the kids each got to figure out how to write their own names in Braille:
(And also write up a “secret code” if they wanted.)
They got to experiment with the Brailler machines and type their names on there:
They used blindfolds and also special goggles and try to decipher different things they were feeling in the books that Ms. Wells brought.
See those goggles up there above? Each pair assimilate a different kind of vision loss.
The kids were so polite and respectful and I sure hope that little experience will help them be willing to speak up and ask questions if they have them to understand vision loss a little better.
Because whether they are part of Lucy’s village now, or in villages of future family members and friends who need them, they can make a difference.
I’m so grateful I get to be part of Lucy’s village…and that she has this amazing Ms. Wells and all the class teachers and kids through the years who are patient and full of love for her.
Because that love makes all the difference.