One of the first lessons I learned after Zachary was born with cleft and cleft palate was that many strangers can be more kind than our “friends”. Through the years, I have met some incredible people who were more kind and more willing to offer words of support than our own friends.
One of the first encounters I experienced was when Zachary was only 1 month old. My friend, whose husband was a photographer, had asked why we hadn’t had baby pictures taken yet. She was interested to know why her husband hadn’t been asked to take pictures of our little boy. My husband and I had discussed getting pictures taken and he and I took a number of photos of our beautiful baby and his “wide smile”. With personal health problems that I was experiencing, we just hadn’t gotten around to getting pictures taken. Needless to say, this friend continued to tell me that her husband wasn’t comfortable taking pictures of our little boy because he didn’t really like looking at him. She continued on and on about how my son made her husband uncomfortable, at which time, I asked her to leave and never return.
Within days of that happening, my husband and I had taken our son to Target to get some items. This couple who was standing in front of us at the check out counter, told us how beautiful our son was. What a simple act of kindness that touched my heart so much and made my day.
When Zachary had major surgery on both of his feet, we were waiting for my daughter outside of her kindergarten class. One of the kid’s dad, turned and saw Zachary in his wheelchair and casts. This man, who was 6’4, body builder, kneeled down to Zachary and commented on what a “tough guy” Zachary was and that he would be up and playing basketball in no time.
The kindness of strangers has been overwhelming. My heart is so touched when people give my little guy some encouraging words, or when they offer words of encouragement to me and my husband. It absolutely restores my faith in humanity. There are such amazing people, and we are blessed to have them cross our paths.