precious lives

happy kid in a cave

I took my little boy to a weekly visit with his great-grandma. On the way, he asked several questions as he tried to understand why grandma is at a nursing home and not at her “old house.”

“Great-grandma needs to learn how to walk again.” The answer satisfied him and he climbed up on grandma’s lap to give her the first kiss. Grandma decided she wanted to take us outside, which ended up being a large patio with plenty of running space for my four year old.

Within a few minutes of running, his cheeks turned tomato red, and he continued to run as if his life depended on it. If the running wore him out, you wouldn’t know it because he didn’t have any plans on stopping.

A group of elderly nursing home patients rolled out onto the patio in their wheelchairs, pushed out by a physical therapist and a nun. They immediately noticed my son and recruited him to help out. The nun sang songs as my son ran around the patients. She found a large inflatable ball and told my son he was the coach of the team. The elderly group, hunched in their chairs, began to light up. They held out their arms, clapping and eagerly waiting for their turn to catch the ball.

I’ve been to a few nursing homes in the past few months and I couldn’t believe how different this one was. They held hands with the patients. They sang. They loved life. I’m glad my son had a chance to witness how precious life is at any age. That the elderly want the same amount of attention as he did. And when they got it, they were happy. A woman scooted around in her seat, practically ready to fall out to catch the ball.  A gentleman didn’t participate in the singing because he didn’t want to miss his turn with the ball. Little gestures from a four year old meant the world to them.

My son didn’t have to play catch with this group. He could have continued his run around the patio and leave it at that. But he enjoyed the experience, the attention and making his great-grandma proud.

Of course he makes me proud because I’m his mom. But other parents and friends mention how he lights up a room. How he smiles constantly. And his easy-going attitude, with an ability to adapt to any situation. So it’s impossible not to reward him for this. Since the weather has been so nice, I told him I’d take him wherever he wanted and he chose the zoo. It was a great chance to spend some time together and work on some photography as well. Here are some of the photos from our day out.

Thanks for stopping by.

arms to the sky with toy car in hand

boy posing in the bleachers

joyous kid in the bleachers

close up of boy showing off his toy car

arms to the sky with chicago skyline in background

boy with chicago skyline in background

boy's hand in gorilla handprinthappy boy with a lifesize lizard statue

boy posing in a tractor tire

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