Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tender Hearts

Have you ever had one of those "being in the right place at the right time" moments? I experienced one of those today when I met someone who left her footprints indelibly stamped across my heart. She is a soon-to-be sixteen-year-old girl and I saw her at the hair salon while I waited my turn for my hairdresser. She was dressed in a chic black and white sundress with shoes that matched. Her blonde hair was shiny clean and in a mid-length stylish cut. Fingernails and toenails were polished a vibrant pink to go along with her pink-tinted lip gloss, and her pink purse was hiked upon her shoulder. My first thought was that she should be walking down a runway working for a modeling agency; she was that striking. She gave me a big smile when I walked in so I initiated a conversation with her, telling her how pretty she looked. An animated conversation ensued and I was impressed at how easily she talked to an older woman. 

She's a little nervous about starting high school this year because it's a different school and she worries about making new friends. She tells me about her gymnastics classes but laments that she'd rather be taking piano lessons. It's her passion, she says. But it's apparent she has more than one passion; another is theater. In a recent school play, she played Maria, Julie Andrews' role in The Sound of Music. I shared with her that my granddaughter is also involved in school plays but works behind the scenes. She was familiar with that role and said, "Oh yes! A play can't go on without the set designers and lighting crew. I love the behind-the-scenes people." Is there anything she doesn't love, I wondered. Her goal is to be a Broadway actress, she says, and I told her that with her personality, talent, and enthusiasm she could be anything she wanted to be. I asked her name because I want to make sure to watch for it on a Broadway billboard someday. She laughed and said that her name is Brady.

I asked if she was waiting for a haircut and she said, no, she was waiting for her best friend who was getting her hair trimmed. I asked if her best friend was her age and she told me no, it was her teacher; the one who had taught her all three years of middle school. She then shared with me that she'd cried when she graduated from middle school this year and she was really going to miss her teacher and her friends. I was sitting there marveling at what a wonderful teacher she must have that would take time during her summer vacation to spend with one of her students. It takes a special kind of teacher to do that, but most teachers in that field are indeed special people. You see, Brady is a high-functioning Down syndrome child. She is also the most delightful young lady I've ever met. 

I learned a valuable lesson in the twenty minutes I chatted with Brady and I'll share what I learned. Don't ever hide behind your phone in a waiting room texting messages and reading Facebook posts. Don't read a magazine when there are interesting people all around you to talk to. You may miss an opportunity to meet someone like Brady who will make you realize that the world is a better place because of the person you just met! And you may, like me, walk out of that waiting room with a much more tender heart than when you walked in.

Go Brady! I predict that you will have a good and happy life and I hope to see you on Broadway some day!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing about meeting Brady. She sounds like a delightful young lady. In my human services career, I taught and worked with adults that were born with developmental disabilities or who had experienced a tramatic brain injury. I loved seeing their successes.


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