Friday, November 09, 2007

Ruby Waved Goodbye

They rounded the corner and saw each other.

Mike is telling me the story while showing me pictures of baby Ruby in the witch costume Joe and I had picked up for her. She looked sweet all decked out in the costume, witch hat balanced on tiny head. She loved the costume so she wore it for the whole day.

I could tell by the way Mike was getting into the story that he'd waited to see me to tell this one. Ruby is still too young to understand dressing up and the spirit of Halloween but she did understand that people were making a fuss over her in her costume and even more than that, they were giving her candy.

Mike's pleased that Ruby is living in an environment where there are peoples and cultures that she is exposed to. She's spoiled by the Indian storekeepers at the corner store. The Chinese couple who run the restaurant always come out and fuss over her. She's used to different faces, differing accents and she's learning that people are people.

But something new was added to the mix. Ruby lives very near where the Famous People Players - a troupe of people with intellectual disabilities - run a dinner theatre. They are just part of the neighbourhood so no one much notices. Well, Ruby rounded the corner and there, coming down the street was another witch. Right away she noticed that the woman with Down Syndrome was wearing the same costume.

They stopped and stared at each other.

"Well, look, I've got a little witch sister," said the woman with Down Syndrome.

Ruby walked up to her, took off her hat and offered it to her. She squatted down and said, "I've got my own hat, but thank you." Ruby giggled at the attention.

She stood and chatted with Mike a bit about her work and Halloween and then noticed the time and said, "I'd better hurry on."

Ruby waved.

"You've got a cute little girl there."

"I hope she grows up just like you," Mike said.

She froze. Looked at him to see if he was mocking her.

He wasn't.

"That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me."

"Well, I meant it."

She slowly turned and went to work while Ruby waved goodbye.


Tricia said...

This was such a powerful story for me. Thank you.

Tom said...

I followed Tricia's link here and am glad I did. Thanks.

Michelle said...

Hi - new reader & I really enjoy your blog.

Our Ruby is 6 months old today, and I hope she grows up to be a wonderful, caring person who makes a contribution to society in her own way. I love your stories - they're so full of hope.


Anonymous said...

That is truly what community is all about! Wonderful story!

Anonymous said...

Thank you again Dave...and Mike for sharing such a natural and yet powerful story!!