It takes a village…

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We are blessed and proud to live within a community of people who look out for their neighbors children. Every day I read/see in the news, mans inhumanity to man and then wonder, how the hell good fortune smiled upon us? The old adage “It takes a village to raise a child” is true and I’m so very thankful for the village and community in which we live.

The other night, I met up with a few of my siblings at a popular bar and grill, to help welcome my nephew Brad back to the States. For the past two years he’s been studying and learning the Japanese language, while conversely teaching Japanese students English. Officially he returned home in late August, but this was the first chance many of us had the opportunity to see and visit with him. As my siblings wandered in, we began playing musical chairs, moving about in different conversations. At one point my sister in law Jean leaned over and said, “Marsha, I’ve got a story for you!” My interest peaked, I leaned in to listen…”

“I was talking the other night at the CK meet the teachers night, with a parent who was wondering and worrying about where she was going to send her son (who happens to have Asperger’s) to high school next year. I told her I had a nephew-the boy-with Asperger’s who is currently enrolled at our school and apparently was doing well. She looked at me oddly then called over to another son Ethan, a Sophomore at the same high school and said ‘My son has told me he thought there was a boy in the freshman class that must have Asperger’s -he recognized similar behavior to that of his brother; wandering around the lunch room, not sitting with anyone. So he stopped the boy and invited him to sit with his friends where he would be welcomed.’ Just then Ethan approached and she asked him if he knew what the name of the boy he was trying to encourage to eat lunch with him was. Looking at the two women he said my boy’s name. Then he added, I noticed he found some kids to sit with the second week. But he’s more than welcome to sit with me anytime.” Looking at my sister in law, as she concluded her tale, tears welled up in my eyes. “Please ask your friend the next time you see her, to thank her son for me. The boy may not appreciate his gesture, but I most certainly do! I’ll make sure the boy is aware of that seating opportunity.”

The next morning I asked the boy if an upper class man had invited him to sit with his friends during lunch the first few weeks of school. “Eh, there was some kid who asked.” Smiling back I said “Well in case you ever want to eat with them, his name is Ethan”. The boy smirked and was gone, unimpressed–unlike his parents.

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