Like every parent, I am completely proud of my kids and I think they are the most awesome kids in the world. And yes, like all parents, I'm a bit biased. :-D
Beanie is what I call my little advocate of all that is right and just. She stands up for the underdog and will tell someone when they are wrong. She is also extremely empathetic. She just...feels.
In kindergarten and first grade, she had a friend, Joseph. Joseph was born prematurely and had some pretty serious birth-related injuries that left him reliant on crutches. Actually, Joseph was lucky to be alive. Despite his physical limitations, Joseph is a sweet boy, very loving and funny and a friend that is truer than any I have ever seen. The only problem is that he hadn't had the chance to prove it to his classmates, as nobody wanted to play with Joseph. He spent a lot of his time alone on the playground, with nobody to talk to. Within the first month of her kindergarten year, Beanie had befriended Joseph and found ways to include him in play. They became fast friends, spending nearly every day playing together in the playground. She pushed him on the swings, helped him onto the merry-go-round, even finding ways to have him participate in games the other children were playing, like tag or hide and go seek.
But I digress.
Yesterday was their school's flea market. The kids were given first crack at the toys. Beanie bought items for all of us and was ready to leave the sale when she saw it. "IT" being a doll. This doll was dirty. It wore no pants. It had old rubber bands and sticker bits in its hair. It wasn't a caucasian doll. It was everything that the other kids hadn't wanted. Beanie picked it up and said, "I want to buy this." The ladies behind the table couldn't believe it, asking her if she was absolutely sure she wanted the doll. She said yes.
Her friends teased her. Why would she want such a messed-up doll? It was dirty. It wasn't the right color. It wasn't even completely dressed!
Beanie didn't offer them any excuses. She held that doll securely all the way home and cleaned it up. She washed its shirt and found a pair of pants in her toybox that fit it. She patiently pulled out the broken rubber bands and sticker bits from its hair, then lovingly styled it.
What she found when she was done was a beautiful little baby doll. It just needed some attention, is all.
When I asked her why she chose this doll, she said something that brought a tear to my eye. She said, "I felt bad for her. She was sitting on that table all alone, nobody wanted her. I knew they were going to throw it away when we left. I didn't want that to happen. She just needed someone to take her home and clean her up and love her."
What Beanie has shown me is something that I, sadly, have lost. The ability to see past the surface and straight to the heart. She has shown me time and time again how important it is to look past someone's abilities, or their appearance, and see what they really are inside. Like Joseph. Like her new doll.
I'm proud of Beanie. And that's not just a biased Mom talking.