This is but one more example that our children are less likely to get stuck in the muck and mire that has plagued our parents and that we are currently striving to break out of. And if they do indeed get stuck, they will have an easier time of it.
Kristen took her son Carter Bruynell to a local skateboard park near their South Brunswick, New Jersey home to quietly celebrate Carter’s 5th birthday.
I say quietly because Carter is autistic and can’t handle loud noises.
Joining them was his behavioral therapist.
Because he gets scared around large groups of older kids, Kristen waited for mid-afternoon when she thought that the local children would be attending school, not realizing that school let out early that day.
They had the park to themselves until a group of rather loud middle schoolers arrived.
Carter turned to his mom with a scared look recalled Kristen,“Carter kind of said, ’Oh no,’ and he thought he was going to have to leave…”
13-year-old Gavin Mabes saw the uncertainty in the youngsters face and walked up to the boy, kneeled down to say ‘”Hi,” and started talking at him and then with him.
Carter then looked at his mom and smiled.
Half of the group started to play with him, as one girl led him to the slide.
When Kristen mentioned to Gavin that today was Carter’s birthday, the loving began.
All the kids surrounded him and sang “Happy Birthday.”
One girl, 13-year-old Samantha Schwab, gave him as a gift a skateboard that she had won that day at school, and the others helped him navigate the intricacies of riding it.
“I had won a little skateboard at school that day and me and one of my other friends, we decided to give it to him for his birthday.”
…..they took him under their wing, showing off tricks, cheering him on as he rode his own skateboard, and … well, generally just treating him like one of the crew.
“I never expected older kids to show up and start including him and interacting with him and making him feel so special! When they sang to him I was crying and so was Carter’s behavioral therapist.
It was so unexpected and beautiful.”
This moment of kindness, however small it may seem, was huge….
Indeed it was.
Since this display of hope was demonstrated last year, Carter is less scared of strangers.
He smiles more.
This simple act of kindness was worth a hundred therapy sessions.
Gavin never fails to often come over to play with his new friend.
Sometimes with others from the original group in tow.
This wasn’t just a one-time kindness to a little kid….they genuinely like him.
“He’s rad,”…..can’t get better than that.
“We also started Carter in T-ball and Gavin plays baseball. Saturday was Opening Day and Carter got to throw the first pitch out to Gavin, and it was nothing but amazing!”
And absolutely impossible to imagine just a year ago.
Two months ago on March 26th, Carter’s 6th birthday, some of his new friends came over to let him know that he was on their mind and in their heart.
Social-distancing etiquette being followed.
During these times of necessary social change… I wanted to offer you this cool sip of water.