Have you ever been caught in a moment listening to (okay, eavesdropping on – keeping it real here) a conversation between your child and a friend? It’s true, kids say the darndest things.
We were spending quality time at a ballpark one night last week, when I noticed our young friend, Carlos, trailing our Ben, trying to talk to him. Ben was busy walking the perimeter of the play area, as he often does, surveying the area which he would spend the next couple of hours. Carlos walked along behind Ben for a bit, chattering away about his day’s activities and asking him various questions. Ben was busy working through things in his mind and didn’t answer right away, so Carlos asked, “Hey, Ben, why aren’t you talking to me?”
Carlos’ mom and I have been friends for nearly a year now. We have laughed so hard we cried, and cried together through some heartbreaking life moments. We’ve commiserated over teen issues, laughed over pre-teen antics, and giggled through the pre-K/K world of wonders. I have no qualms with Carlos being so bold as to ask something along the lines of “Dude, what is up with you today?” because truly, he’s seen many sides of Ben and he just keeps trying – the mark of a true friend, evident in such a young lad.
So when he didn’t get an answer from Ben, he turned his attention to the all-knowing answer lady of their generation, Ben’s little sister, Ali. What follows is a loose transcript of what followed between the two, taken from my memory, a few days old.
C: Hey! Hey, Ali, why doesn’t Ben know how to talk?
A: What? He knows how to talk.
C: Well…then why isn’t he talking to me?
A: Sometimes he doesn’t want to talk.
A: He just doesn’t.
A: Well because.
A: Sometimes it’s just hard for Ben to talk.
C: But why?
A: Well…because, that’s just the way God made him.
C: Oh… Okay.
At which point, the duo raced to the swings and set off to play together. I chuckled over the innocence of the conversation and went to share it with Carlos’ mom as she was just out of earshot, missing the whole conversation and what lead up to it. I had just finished replaying it all and we were laughing, reassuring each other it’s all good, when what to our surprise, here came Ben & Carlos, holding hands, laughing together.
Ben looked at me and said, “Hey, Mommy! We’re holding hands.” Carlos beamed as if he’d just conquered Mt. Everest. And off they ran together with Ali at their side, a trio which melts my heart every single time we are together, to conquer their own worlds, playing together for the next few hours. I had to dry my eyes watching them run and play, swing and slide, laughing together over the course of the evening, so thankful that God had created each one of them, and put us all here to experience this life together through laughter, confusion, and explanations shared between friends. Yep, that’s just the way God made us.