As we bowed our heads and listened to Bitty give thanks in her own little language while covering her eyes like she was playing a game of peek-a-boo, I caught a glimpse of our dinner guest, Emma Grace’s friend, smiling to herself. Sharing meals around the dinner table has always been a top priority in our home. Some of our best conversations and favorite memories have occurred at the dinner table. And last night was no exception.
Most of our meals are far from the Norman Rockwell ideal, but somehow they seem far more richly colored. There’s always a lot of chatter and usually a bit of complaining, but there’s a power of oneness that occurs when we all gather together and share.
Interestingly, the dynamics are quite the same… even with company.
Last night, as the dinner conversation turned to Beau sharing his “spooky stories”, I watched Emma Grace’s friend marvel in the magic. “Spooky stories” are one of Beau’s favorites and involve the whole family making spooky noises when they hear their name called. We’re all too familiar with this ritual, but for our dinner guest, this was new territory. Our new friend didn’t miss a beat when she heard her name and responded with her best spooky sound.
It was in this moment that I realized how good the company we keep is.
Growing up, I had very little exposure to people with intellectual disabilities. And until Beau was born, knew very little about Down syndrome. We quickly learned that having an intellectual disability is just ONE of the things that makes our children unique and special and that we are all much more alike than different.
That’s a very easy conclusion to come to when you’re talking about your own family.
What constantly amazes me, is how our friends have embraced this philosophy, too. And what’s even more incredible is the way our friend’s children have embraced it.
As Oprah Winfrey once said, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”
By that measure, we have already been lifted to the Heavens.