“Love is patient. Love is kind… Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4,7-8
Everywhere he went, I watched Luke turn people into the best versions of themselves. Normally indifferent employees broke into big smiles when Luke came through the door of their store or entered their checkout lane. Hurried customers waited patiently as Luke practiced giving and receiving money from the cashiers. Life slowed down and people took time out of their day to talk to Luke. He evoked feelings in them that made them want to be a part of his progress. They liked who they were with Luke. He made them better.
There was Russ, a gentleman in charge of pony rides at a local park. The rides were closed, but he saddled up a horse for Luke anyway. As we left, he gave us his phone number, encouraging us to call anytime Luke wanted to ride.
There was Joshua, a 13-year-old boy and his brothers and sisters, that played soccer with Luke. I’ll never forget the sound of him yelling, “Let’s let Luke score the winning goal!”
There was Lauren, who took Luke swimming because he wanted to go in the pool and I didn’t have a change of clothes for myself.
There was the young man at the pet store, Todd, who took animals out of the tanks for Luke to experience up close – all of them, angels in human form, and the very few who have lived down to my expectations, have made me appreciate the acts of kindness so much more.
So, to my precious son, I’m so sorry for doubting your super powers, and to those who have embraced my son with love and compassion, thanks for proving me wrong, and loving him more.
* An edited version of this post was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum, under the title, “A Loving World.”