As I came down the hill and around the corner, I could hear a leaf blower and a man, a father, who was trying to say something to his son over the noise. On the grass in front of him I could see the boy facing me, laying on the grass, elbows on the ground, head in his hands… and smiling. I found it odd that the boy would be on the ground in front of where his father was working. I couldn’t make out what was being said over the sound of the machine, but I could tell the father was trying to get the boy’s attention.
As I approached, the man turned off the leaf blower and said, “Could you please go inside and put on your legs? I don’t want to be out here doing this after the sun goes down.”
The son quickly raised himself up by his arms. Only then could I see that he had only the upper portion of his thighs where his legs should be. He wasn’t laying in the grass, it only appeared he was. He began to walk on his hands across the yard and said, “I’ll be right back.” The Father said, “thank you.” The boy climbed up the stair to the porch in front of his house, turned his head to his father and said, “Sure, no problem, Dad.”
“Sure, no problem, Dad.”
It was as normal as any conversation I’ve ever heard. And not. As I walked by their yard, I smiled at the Dad. I said nothing, but I hope he could see in my face the joy I experienced in that moment. I hope he saw the feeling of inspiration in my smile, in my eyes. I have a feeling he has seen that look before.
As I continued on, my mind could not help but wander back to that moment. It wandered to the assumptions I made upon first glance, the awakening to the truth of the situation. It wandered to the moment of joy in seeing a young man respond without hesitation to the request of his father, and to a father expecting the same from his son “disabled” son that I would expect from my “able” son. And when I awoke this morning, my mind kept wandering back to that simple yet inspiring moment.
I think we all have blocks between us and the best version of ourselves, whether it’s shyness, insecurity, anxiety, whether it’s a physical block, and the story of a person overcoming that block to their best self. It’s truly inspiring because I think all of us are engaged in that every day.” – Tom Hooper
We are. Some of us more obviously than others.