Neat conversation

I had a neat conversation with a man and his teenage son a few days ago. I was struck  when I saw them standing at the grocery deli with arms wrapped around each other’s backs. I wanted to rush over and give them both a big hug; it was such a beautiful sight. As I walked near, I resisted the urge, but I did say to myself, I actually need some cheese. So as I stood next to them, I smiled and asked,”Is this your son?” The father looked at me, smiled and said, “Yes.” The son looked at me and I said, “I love you, you are beautiful.” The son reacted by taking his hand and pounding it on his ear, I noticed both ears were deformed from what seemed like numerous strikes through the years. Neurological damage, I assumed caused the involuntary response of head banging, possibly frustration too (I hope I didn’t upset him). The father gently took his son’s arm and placed it around his back. I learned from the father, as the son listened with understanding, they were heading to the fair. How fun, I exclaimed. I asked the son if he liked to swing, thinking of Jude and how he loves swinging. The father answered for his non-verbal son and said, “He loves the carnival rides, but the not the swing. He doesn’t like to move backwards.” We chatted a few more moments and then they moved on. As I reflect back on this conversation many things struck me. But two stand out. The son, Ben, likes moving forward, not backward. Wisdom for us all. The other thing is that, I wish it was not unusual or odd to see a father and son standing arm in arm at the deli line. I am etching this sight in my longtime memory. We may see a disabled person, but he is a perfect soul and we all need each other in some way or another.

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