Sunday, June 13, 2010

A bit of faith in the future...

This evening a friend came around with her 10 year old son.

Billy and this boy have known each other since Billy was born, though they don't see each other very often. My friend is, herself, one in a million. Incredibly (or maybe not), her son is one in a billion. A truly special human being.

It's a lot to put on him, really. I'm loading this poor boy with an awful lot of responsibility, but maybe I can explain why it seems like he can take it.

He's a gentle, witty soul, one of those people who can observe and participate at the same time. He's a talker and a listener. Even as a pre-schooler, you could see he was an all-rounder. He could pretend. He could analyse. He was cognitively bright, and empathetic at the same time. Now that he's older, he's clearly a kid, but he's already stretching one tentative gangly limb into adulthood.

Billy's not a fan of kids generally. But tonight, as darkness fell, he climbed into his trampoline with his 10 year old friend, and together they went spotlighting for possums and bats. They talked about aircraft and star formations together. They bounced together until it was too cold to stay outside anymore.

It's times like these when my fears about the future fly up and away with the aircraft and the bats.

My friend's son (and my friend) remind me that there are people on this planet who can reach right through the defences and engage Billy on equal terms. They observe, they listen and they find their way in, not feeling like they've lost anything along the way.

And when they do, Billy steps right up to the plate. Or the trampoline, as the case may be.

That makes the future seem kind of... bouncy.


Lisa said...

Finding peers. It's magical. It's life-saving.

And it's so hard to do in age-grouped schools.

Keeping our kids in one piece (physically and mentally) until they *can* find their peers is the hardest job we have to do. I think.

Loving picturing Billy and friend, aged 10 and 6, discussing aircraft and stars.

eljay71 said...

Oh Val! I LOVE moments like that. My boy has 2 special friends that are like any other rambunctious 6 year olds...and see my boy for who he is....and not the trappings that "adorn" him! I LOVE watching their friendship unfold!
That friend is SO lucky to have Billy in his life...

Livian x

fiona2107 said...


Julie said...

Ah Val! I got goosebumps when I read your beautiful words. My heart swelled with love and pride for our two little/big boys.

Aren't we the lucky ones!

I think they are true kindred spirits (much like we are!) and their love of simple things and the gentle way they travel through life give them plenty of common ground for a life long friendship.

We can marvel at it when we are old and grey ... or should I say older and greyer!!Oh no! xxxxx