I spent the day with my little man yesterday. We are together on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and after my absence during my Santa Fe trip, he was delighted to see me, as I was him.

It was a cloudy, rainy day, and too wet for the park, so I decided to take him to Chick-fil-A for lunch so he could play in their little indoor play area and run out some energy before nap. He powered through his nuggets and waffle fries like a champ, downed his milk, and patiently waited for his Mimmie to finish her chicken salad so he could go play.

Then he was off.

At first, he was the only child in the play area. He took off his shoes and placed them in the little cubby like a professional, and took off for his favorite part of the play structure: the car. He sat in there turning it around tight corners in his mind, when a group of three children entered. A boy, about 5, a girl about 7, and another girl, about the same age as Brody.

He came out to greet them, as he is very friendly, and they immediately included him in their game of chase. Somehow, he became “it” and would chase them, come upon them, and roar like a lion, which was met with squeals of delight from all three. This went on for a good fifteen minutes, with none of them tiring and all of them having the best time.

They finally all sat on one of the platforms to catch their breath. The oldest girl very sweetly asked his name, and when he told her, she took his hand and shook it, saying “Pleased to meet you, Brody. I really like your shirt,” then touching his sleeve, she added, “It’s really soft.” He beamed, and looked back at me, saying, “She likes my shirt, Mimmie! It’s soft!”

The other kids said hello, as well, shook his hand, and told them their names, even the little one. I was so impressed, giving their parents (who were sitting on the other side of the window) a mental high five.

They soon resumed their game, but I noticed that Brody didn’t have quite as much steam this go around, and was rubbing his eyes. I told him “five more minutes,” and when it was time, asked him to tell his friends goodbye. There were no arguments from anyone, and all three of those kids came down, individually thanked him for playing, and gave him a hug.

The look on his face was priceless. He returned each one with a sincere hug of his own, waved goodbye again on the way out, and said to me at least five times, “Mimmie, they HUG me! They my FRIENDS!”

His little tank full, he went right to sleep when we got home. I came down the stairs to the quiet of the house, my own heart full for him. We need human contact, you and I. We need inclusion, acceptance, and the warm hug of a friend…sometimes, even a stranger.

Consider the singular person, today, the lonely, and go out of your way to fill their tank. You know how good it feels to be included, so share the love. You may never know how it will change their day around. They may even go home and sleep like a baby.


Don’t forget to be kind to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!  ~ Hebrews 13:2 TLB