I almost didn't write this particular blog, the last of the 'Ruby Stories' from our summer holiday.
Mostly because it will seem a little unbelievable.
But, I swear, it's true. I have witnesses.
We were having a barbecue on the deck outside the hotel. It took mammoth organization to move all the food and supplies down from the hotel room but it was worth it. Ruby and I had gone down early, leaving the chaos behind, so that she could finish her sticker book on animals. It was a fun project and we were almost done. Just as the last sticker was being placed on the last spot on the last page, the others arrived. Ruby proudly showed her work to her Mom and Dad who praised both her effort and her accomplishment.
Mike put the burgers on, Joe was sitting on one side of me, Ruby on the other. Marissa was across from me and beside Ruby. Ruby had asked for something and then said, 'I get it because I'm special.' We all laughed and I said. 'But Ruby, everyone's special. Your mom is special, and your dad is special, and Sadie is special, and Joe is special. I'm the only one here who isn't special.' Now, I said that just as a joke and it had it's desired effect, Joe rolled his eyes and said, 'What is this Mother Theresa day?' I answered back, 'What, modesty doesn't suit me?' And we were all off - except Ruby.
Ruby didn't hear any of our banter. Her eyes had gone wide. She was thinking very, very hard. She looked up at me and she had tears in her eyes. She said, 'Um, Dave ...' I looked over to her. I saw that she was very serious, so did everyone else, so we all quieted to hear what she had to say, 'I think that even big people, people who aren't skinny, and I think that even people in wheelchairs who can't walk, I think they need to, um, believe ...' it was clear she hadn't finished so we all sat, a bit awestruck while t a four year old struggled for words, 'I think they need to believe that they can do things too. They have to really, really, believe.'
It was an astonishing moment because she spoke out of somewhere deep in her heart. She wanted to tell me something, and she worked very hard to do it.
The spell was broken moments later when supper arrived and we began assembling burgers and hot dogs and corn.
Later that evening Joe and I were talking about it. He said, 'Like she had to tell you that!!'
I didn't say anything, but, you know ... um, yeah, she did.