I learn new things from my kids every day.
Seeing the world through their eyes has drastically changed my perspective on life.
One thing that Miss V has taught me is her perspective on friendship.
Every person she meets [or even just sees from a distance] is a potential friend in her eyes.
She doesn’t pay attention to their age, their gender, their race. She doesn’t care if they have special needs or speak a different language than she does. All of these social constraints that make me fearful of talking to a person for one reason or another – through her eyes I can see how silly they are.
V just goes on up to someone, grabs their hand, gives them a hug, and decides to be their friend. Seriously, everywhere we go, she meets a new friend. The other night we were at Culver’s and she made friends with a little boy who had special needs. She just walked right on over to him and started talking about his Elmo doll. At WIC last week, there was a little girl – maybe 8 or 9 – in our group walking down the hall, V just walked right up and held her hand. We went to story time at the library yesterday. V walked in, sat down next to another little girl, and put her arm around her.
It’s adorable to watch. And more than that, it reminds me that people are people, and all people need to be loved.
It reminds me that I shouldn’t let my social constructs get in the way of loving people.
It makes me think that this is one of the reasons Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
So the next time you see someone who’s different than you, and you get that nervous feeling and think “It’d be easier to keep walking,” take a lesson in making friends from a two year old. Let go of the things that hold you back and make a new friend. You’ll be surprised at what you might learn.
Now if we can just teach her about respecting other people’s boundaries – turns out not everyone likes to be hugged by a complete stranger. 🙂