Growing up, my grandmother would give me random bits of wisdom. She would often say, “I have lived long enough to see things change that I never thought would.” Typically, she was referring to a bad situation that turned around for good. Look back on your life and we have all been witnesses to change. But a few months ago, I observed the unimaginable. And, I wasn’t alone…life changed for eight others as well.
I wished time and opportunity was afforded to me so that I could have spoken to the others to share thoughts, ideas, perspectives and how this destined moment impacted our lives. Forever, we will remain a group of strangers that exchanged glances, smiles and gained a deeper appreciation for humanity. It didn’t matter that some of us were male, female, of different ages, nationalities, or cultures but a baby girl no more than 18 months old changed my view of the world and the capabilities of a child.
Time and chance presented itself through a snow storm. With three inches of snow on the roads and reports of treacherous black ice, I opted to take transit rather than drive across town. Nearing my home, a young couple boarded the bus. The man helped his wife on as she was carrying the baby in one of those child backpacks. They sat on the seats closest to the driver and I sat directly across from them.
The baby was a sweet petite thing with slender delicate fingers, light brown hair, small dark eyes and a loving smile. I imagine she was cold and tired so that explained why she fussed a little. Her father rubbed her face to warm her cheeks, mom gingerly rocked from side to side, and they talked to her quite softly to calm her down. Each parent took queues from the other without saying a word. This was co-parenting at its best. In a matter of minutes, the little girl became quite jovial singing to herself and bobbing her head. Once she calmed down she made a point of looking at each one of us directly in our eyes and smiling. Who taught this little child to act with such purpose? How did she learn to connect so intimately? How did she understand that looking deep into someone’s eyes was a means of peeking through the windows of their soul?
This story seems simple, generic or uneventful. But, the parents of the little girl were both blind. As strangers in time, we couldn’t help but watch how this family interacted…it was simply beautiful. The baby girl smiled at each and every one of us because she witnessed the individual and collective love for her family on our faces. Nature and nurture taught her that mommy and daddy were blind and that her eyes would guide her parents. Who will she grow up to be? She was already a leader with great confidence. How many times will this story be repeated in her life? How many lives will that family change?
As they exited the bus, the little girl waved to each one of us and respectively we waved and said good-bye. Her parents calculated their steps and patiently waited until she stopped moving in the backpack and the familiar voices of strangers ceased. Her parents coped with darkness but their daughter enlightened society.