Rather, the result of it.
That’s what you see here.
Some of you may be aware, some might be newer to our page and don’t know the history yet – but Allayna is blessed to have LOTS of grandparents. Some are biological, some are by marriage, some were made “legal” through the adoption – but ALL of them have loved her wholly since she was a little girl.
She spent some time with her Grandpa Scott and Grandma Joyce over the holiday break, and they exchanged gifts between them. Allayna was very excited to gift back some of the treats we’d made from the buck she’d gotten with Scott this season.
When we picked her back up, Joyce let us know that there were some gifts in Allayna’s bags for David. We thanked them, obviously – but it’s really hard to truly express what that kind of inclusion does for the hearts of parents like us.
I should say, it’s hard to express without turning into quiver-voiced clumps of mushy drivel and teary eyes.
Especially when we’ve seen the opposite end of the spectrum from some of the people in our lives.
It’s not always so natural, including David in everything.
Sometimes, people half-heartedly ask how he’s doing, or how things are going, and you can actually feel the air change in the conversation as soon as they ask; as if they’re worried our reply will contain too much of our reality. It’s okay; we’ve learned to spot you. We know when to simply say, “good!” And let you escape our “too much” unscathed.
But we feel it.
Then there are people like Scott and Joyce. People that, when you really break down family dynamics and structures, in most instances wouldn’t pay any mind to David – or us, for that matter. In the cold air of reality, it would seem understandable if they really just wanted to see and talk with Allayna (that’s not who they are at all, thankfully).
Add in the fact that David requires a different level of attention or understanding, and it’s much easier for some people to simply act as if he isn’t there. As harsh as that sounds, it’s a reality.
We’ve seen it happen.
So when people like Scott and Joyce come along – and not only acknowledge David, but talk with him, and ask questions, and talk to Allayna about what he likes, and what he struggles with, and include him in their Christmas gifting…
You make sure you let them know how much he appreciates their inclusion.
And how much you appreciate their inclusion of him.
Because it’s one thing for someone to ask how he’s doing, hoping you don’t actually answer.
It’s a completely different heart sweller when people ask, and listen, and act – and you get to witness this level of happiness.
This enlightened, engaged and genuine smile is the direct result of understanding and inclusion.
This is the result of kindness.
Thank you, Scott and Joyce.