I remember walking downtown with my youngest son when he was about four. It’s that beautiful (yet exhausting) age where kids are becoming alert to the world around them, and vocal enough to give you a play-by-play account of what they see.
As we strolled along, I spotted a college-age woman with a significant limp. Sure enough, so did my son.
“Mom, look at that lady. She walks funny.”
I froze with a terrified smile on my face because I knew the woman had heard my son. “Um, I’m really sorry…” I sort of mumbled.
“That’s okay,” she replied. With a huge, friendly smile, she turned to my son. “You’re right! I do walk funny. I was born with one leg longer than the other. It makes it awfully hard to run. Do you like to run?”
All of sudden, my son was caught up in the excitement of talking about himself. The attention was off of her, and all differences between us were erased.
I have never been more grateful for the kindheartedness of a stranger in my whole life.
She saw a sticky situation and gracefully taught us how to handle it.
There is a mom who has to deal with situations like that one all the time. Her son was born with Apert Syndrome, an extremely rare craniofacial disorder. Her only chance of creating some normalcy in her son’s life was to greet the odd looks and pointing fingers head on — with kindness.
Taryn Skees joins me on The Kindness Podcast to talk about her son Aiden, what she does to address the curiosity, and what it will mean to see a story so similar to her son’s played out on the big screen in the new movie, Wonder.
And please be sure to stop over to Taryn’s website, MoreSkeesPlease.com to learn more about Aiden, Apert Syndrome and the mom of four boys who calls herself the “coordinator of chaos.” You can also catch up with the family at https://www.facebook.com/MoreSkeesPlease/.