As we were walking up to La Baguette to order lunch, a little girl came running up to Clara. She wrapped her arm around her in a comforting, welcoming embrace and just looked at Clara and then Alan and I. I declared, "Wow, Clara! What a fast friend you have made!"
We stepped closer to the bakery and the little girl stepped away and back towards her mother. Yet, just as quickly, the little girl was running back to Clara's side and grabbed a hold of her free hand mirroring Alan's hold. She just stood there.
What most of you don't know is that Clara has had very few interactions with other children. She has had a couple of very sheltered playdates with boys at our house, who she has learned to dodge as a fist or push seems to be coming her way, or she has seen children from afar. Never has another child approached her and hugged or held her hand.
I looked at the little girl and asked her name. As best I could tell, she said, "Holding." Twice. Clara looked at me and said, "She's holding my hand." The girl touched the top of Clara's hat and then held her hand again. Clara, "She's touching my hat. She's looking for Clara. She's holding my hand."
We all stood there for a full minute or two. Alan and I were concentrating on pretending this was a normal and perfectly safe encounter as our hearts raced with panic. Why wasn't the mother verbally or physically calling the little girl away? What were we supposed to do?
But in that same moment, I felt God's hand. He had sent this little angel of a girl to welcome Clara to the world of touch and safety and friendship in what was a previously forbidden and dangerous world.
The girl rejoined her silently observing mother as quickly as she had approached. And, that was that.
It was a beautiful moment that put a smile on Clara's face, warmth in my heart, and us all one step closer to rejoining normal interaction with the rest of the world.
|Trying on Halloween costumes at PotteryBarn Kids, among everything else in the store.|
It was a fun day out and about and the girls fell fast asleep in the car on the way home. We played in the yard with Rosalyn as Clara napped in the parked car in our driveway for 2 hours. She's playing hard and loving this new life of adventure!