The simplest question, yet for the sister of a special needs little boy, quite a tricky one. Of course, the question was asked innocently by my daughter's young friend and I, interested to hear how she would answer, turned my ear to the conversation. I heard silence. To cover the quiet, I erred and spoke for her, "he calls her, MOVE!" It was meant to be a joke as three year old Amos does love to say that when his overly affectionate sister dominates hispersonal space for a moment too long.
"He calls me, Blair," she said, her voice full of indignity, an apt response to my feeble attempt at a joke. I raised my eyebrows at her as we walked off the porch and headed to our car. He does, she insisted, her head held high. I felt the quintessential heel for putting her into a position of feeling like she must defend herself and my own shame burdened me. In my sordid history of speaking before thinking, I had never been stung or stung, quite like this.
We talked when we got home and I asked her about her answer, after I apologized for mine. "It's okay," she said, "he does know my name." Yes, he does, I thought. He does. A year ago I may not have been sure, but if you told him today to give something to Blair or Sissy and he were in a proper mood of cooperation, he would indeed. You see, that should have been enough for me.
It was enough for my seven year old daughter, the older sister, and yet, not for her mama. I learn from these children of mine. I learn and stumble and learn some more. The real isn't inherently scary, yet I find myself running away, just in case, more often than I care to admit. I think this year may be the one when I learn to do the chasing and perhaps, a bit of following too. Thank you, Blair.